Securing financial futures through good work in later life

Post author image. Angela Watson
Age Project Manager, Angela Watson, discusses how organisations can use Business in the Community’s (BITC) reissued mid-life MOT toolkits to help people make better career decisions in later life.

Older workers are currently facing significant challenges in balancing work and their daily lives. Many older workers who left work during the COVID-19 pandemic are choosing not to return1. To support older workers at this critical time, Business in the Community (BITC) has reissued its mid-life MOT toolkits for larger and smaller employers. Mid-life MOTs provide a great opportunity for people to think through what they want in later life in terms of work and retirement. They consider what they can afford, and how they can shape work to fit with their personal lives.

BITC also offers mid-career reviews to job seekers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales through our Age at Work employability programmes.

How mid-life MOTs can help

For employers, mid-life MOTs are a great retention tool. They help people shape work that works for them and so stay in their jobs for longer. Given the current level of resignations2 and continuing shortages of talent in recruitment3, holding on to skilled and experienced employees is all the more important.

Using the reissued BITC mid-life MOT frameworks, employers can offer supported conversations about people’s futures. These can be in group discussions, seminars, workshops and one-to-ones. These conversations provide space for people to reflect and take stock. This helps them make better plans for the short, medium and longer-term taking into account their job, health and their finances.

Why this support is so important now

New research has highlighted the deteriorating prospects for people in later life and the importance of staying in work for as long as possible.

  • Office for National Statistics (ONS) research found that only one in four of the adults aged 50 to 70 years who left or lost their job since the start of the pandemic and not yet returned to work would now consider returning. If they are going to return to work, those over 50 want a new job to fit their skills and experience. They want flexible working and working from home, and the ability to balance work with caring responsibilities. Notably, money is not a major driver for them returning to work.
  • The 2022 State of Ageing Report from the Centre for Ageing Better finds that a financially secure and healthy later life is becoming increasingly unlikely for millions of people, with more pensioner poverty and lower healthy life expectancy.
  • BITC member Phoenix Group thinktank Phoenix Insights new Later Lives Index finds 18 million people in the UK fear they will be unable to save enough money to retire. 12 million already believe that the pandemic has negatively impacted their financial security.
  • But older candidates are finding it difficult to access work. BITC’s Opening Doors campaign has revealed the extent of bias in recruitment processes. This amplifies earlier BITC findings on the extent of age bias in recruitment.

Older workers are leaving the labour market early when employers need their talents the most. At the same time, employees need to be sure they have enough money, pensions and savings to secure the financial future they want. Using BITC’s reissued mid-life MOT toolkits, employers can help themselves hold on to valuable talent, and help employees make the best decisions they can about their financial futures.

CREATe A SKILLED AND INCLUSIVE WORKFORCE

References

  1. Office for National Statistics (2022) Early insights from the Over 50s Lifestyle Study, Great Britain: 1 March 2022
  2. Amelia Brand (2022) The Great Resignation is not slowing down, HR Review, 20 April.
  3. Larry Elliott and Richard Partingdon (2022) It’s not quite the Black Death, but worker shortage hits UK firms hard, The Guardian, 12 February 2022