Employers should do more for workers in their 40s and 50s to help them plan for the future and stay in work for longer, a report has concluded.
The study by the Centre for Ageing Better states that mid-life support has the potential to improve staff wellbeing, which in turn helps people to work for longer, have a better transition to retirement and better wellbeing in retirement.
Supporting the health, safety and wellbeing of their older workforce also enables the retention of older workers, it adds.
The report recommends mid-life MOTs cover psychological and emotional wellbeing as well as health, finances and career and retirement plans.
Workers over the age of 50 now make up a third of all UK workers, but there are more older people leaving work than younger people coming in to replace them.
Supporting staff to plan ahead could help employers avoid potential staff and skill shortages, as well as “cliff edge retirements” where people are working one day and stop work entirely the next, the report suggests.
“Everyone – especially the ‘squeezed middle’ on low-medium incomes and people with health issues or caring responsibilities – benefits from thinking early about what they want later life to look like, and how they can achieve the later life they want,” it states.
Dr Aideen Young, evidence manager at the Centre for Ageing Better, said that for most people having adequate finances, good health and a strong network of social connections will not happen by accident.
“We have got to think about the future and do it early enough that we can put ourselves on course for a good later life,” Young added. “Employers who prioritise supporting workers to plan and prepare in mid-life are the ones who will better retain skilled workers and be more resilient to future skills shocks.”
Helen Morrissey, Royal London’s pension specialist, said the use of strategies such as mid-life MOTs are a win-win for employers and employees.
“They encourage employees to think about what they want their later life to look like and to plan accordingly while employers have the opportunity to improve retention of older staff members by making the most of their skills and experience and deploying them effectively within their businesses. Such strategies allow employers to build and benefit from age diverse workforces that benefit them and their employees alike,” she stated.