New research from Canada Life[i] has revealed that one in five (22%) workers over the age of 55 have felt discriminated against at work because of their age, and that almost 40% of employees of this age group expects to work beyond state pension age.

The findings chime with the survey carried out by Punter Southall, which identified shortcomings when it came to companies supporting this cohort as they consider the next stage of their career and plans for retirement.

Punter Southall Aspire  Chief Executive Steve Butler says both surveys highlight the need for employers to run mid-career reviews alongside apprenticeship schemes, graduate recruitment and summer placement initiatives to balance the needs of all employees.

He added: “The UK’s workforce demographics are changing in line with population trends. People are living and working longer, which means employers need to adapt to a more mature workforce.

“In the past, the focus has been on younger colleagues but that needs to shift. We recommend carrying out midlife reviews which can help companies make the most of their existing workforce, reduce the risk of losing valuable talent and ensure people can enjoy fulfilling careers and continue contributing as much as possible, for as long as possible.”

The Canada Life research also highlighted that 88% of older workers said more part-time opportunities would help them feel more supported, followed by flexible working (86%) and new skills training (82%), while appropriate workplace benefits (82%) and employee support programmes (78%) were also favoured.

Steve said: “A midlife review helps employees plan the important second phase of their career and enables employers to work with them to decide how they can best support them “It will include training or upskilling they might need, any changes to working patterns and discussing what employee benefits are most relevant.

“Midlife reviews are not concerned with someone’s performance, salary and benefits.  Instead, they focus on mid to long-term plans and consider your situation in the round, reflecting finances, work aspirations and wellbeing.

“They enable employees to gain a clear perspective on what they want from their future – and for employers to ensure they don’t lose key people who they’ve invested in over the years and still have much to offer.”

Steve recommends the midlife review should provide focus for employees on following four areas:

  • Career – What do they still want to accomplish over the next 10 – 20 years? How do they see their role changing – and what new skills might they need to make this happen?
  • Wealth – Do they have the funds necessary to make their pre-retirement lifestyle possible, for example if they want to reduce their hours? If not, what do they need to do to afford the life they want?
  • Pension – They need to understand when they will eventually be able to afford to retire, wind down work, based on the pensions or other savings they have available.
  • Health – To continue being productive for another 10 – 20 years, people need to stay as fit and healthy as possible. What steps can they take to make this more likely?

Steve recently published a new book, ‘Midlife Review: A guide to work, wealth and wellbeing’ written with writer Tony Watts OBE, offering business leaders, managers and employees guidance to help them understand and support ‘midlife’ workers.

For more information visit: www.psaspire.com

By Editor