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30 Jan 2024
by Anna Scott

How are retirement patterns changing?

Employers must consider what longer working lives mean for their job roles and skills requirements



What’s the issue?

Employers want to retain older workers with valuable skills, but recognise employees may not want to continue in the same roles or working patterns as they age.

What are employers doing about it?

Businesses are addressing the issue in several ways, including blending access to pensions with flexible working patterns. They’re also building a culture that supports. innovative ways of working.

Putting more resources into retaining older employees is a priority. Aviva’s Working Lives Report 2023 found that 35% of employers are increasing support or introducing initiatives for the first time to help keep the older member of their workforce.

Employers are looking at re-skilling the entire workforce. “We’ve explored breaking down physically demanding roles so that, for example, two or three people could carry out different parts of a process,” says Nina Platt, head of reward and pensions at Belron. 

“This makes jobs more manageable, means we can keep people in the workforce longer, and improves efficiency for the business. Senior leaders are driving this change.” 

The ability for flexible work is crucial as part of longer working lives, and companies are addressing how it fits with older members of the workforce. “We have compressed our working weeks to four days, and it is well respected,” says Amanda Dini, International Pensions and Benefits Specialist, Enterprise Operations at Lockheed Martin UK. “Having Fridays off helps people to unwind and that flexibility helps when starting to move into retirement.” 

Tips for employers

  • Enable people to move into different roles, particularly as they age, by offering wider career paths.
  • Communicate opportunities to re-skill as part of a long-term plan and make it a key part of your corporate culture.
  • Start re-skilling conversations earlier and ensure you do it sensitively – many employees link self-worth with status and job role.
  • Plan for future skills requirements and prepare for as-yet-undefined job roles.
  • Consider re-skilling the entire workforce so that wider skill sets ensure resilience for future business shifts. 
  • Ensure your workplace culture and practices offer as much flexibility as possible.

REBA brought together five senior reward and benefits practitioners with Aviva experts to discuss how employees’ changing paths to retirement will affect reward, benefits and HR challenges. 

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