British Public Embrance Retirement Revolution


We share a new Study compiled by the “Scottish Widows” – a Life insurance, Pensions and Investment group based in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Olderhood has no commercial affiliation to the Group, but does have full permission to publish in Olderhood)


While the Study was conducted in Britain, it is most appropriate for the global Olderhood audience, and we believe the statistics shown in the Study have universal application. Consultant to the Study was Professor Wendy Loretto, Professor Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Director of REF and Research, Edinburgh University, Scotland.


Almost half (49%) of the nation’s retirees are sparking a retirement revolution by transforming the end of their working lives, with almost one in 10 (8%) choosing to change careers  and one in 20 starting their own business.

The Scottish Widows study has revealed a shift towards active retirement with most retirees motivated to make changes to keep active (43%) or follow their passion (20%). While one in ten say they need to maintain a flow of income, more retirees (11%) say they don’t want to stop working.

Working Population Gears Up for New Retirement era

The working population is already planning ahead, with 30% of working Britons planning to reinvent their careers when they retire, either by starting a new career, setting up a new business, or becoming a consultant. A fifth plan to continue learning, either through academic, vocational, or language courses.

One in six (17%) see maintaining a regular income stream as being key to their retirement plans and one in eight (12%) predict that they won’t want to stop working. A third aim to use their retirement to follow their passion (35%) or keep active (35%), while nearly one in five (19%) wants to give back to their community.

As life expectancy increases in a changing financial climate, the outlook is different for those on the brink of retirement than for those who have already retired. While 71% of retirees surveyed retired around or earlier than the age they expected, more than half (54%) of workers over 50 say they will retire later than they initially expected when starting out their career, with  more than one in five (21%) now believing that they will retire over the age of 70.

Younger generations face an even more uncertain landscape. An analysis of Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports show that on average 30 year-olds will work until they are 66 and live until they are 87, with nearly one in five reaching 100. With 20-30 years potentially spent in retirement, savvy workers are acknowledging the need to have a plan, and are already preparing for an active retirement.   One in six workers under the age of 50 does not expect to retire until their 70s, with one in three fearing they won’t be financially comfortable enough to retire earlier.

Wendy Loretto, Professor of Organisational Behaviour, University of Edinburgh Business School, who worked with Scottish Widows on the study said: “As our society adapts to an ageing population, the way we perceive and plan for retirement has had to evolve. The reality is that we are not all able to stop working at 65, and this is likely to become even later in the future. With this in mind, people are adopting a new attitude towards this life stage and are starting to view working later in life as a positive opportunity rather than a burden.

“The Oxford Dictionary defines retirement as ‘the action of leaving one’s job and ceasing to work’ but these changes are so stark that this definition may have to be rewritten.”

Robert Cochran, key accounts pension development manager at Scottish Widows, said: “More and more people are seeing retirement as an opportunity to reinvent themselves, re-claiming time to focus on doing things they might not have had the chance to during their younger, working lives.

“However there is an increasing pressure in approaching a stage of life which is starting to differ from people’s expectations, but this transition is far less intimidating if they have a plan. Being realistic about what the future holds in a changing world enables them to best prepare themselves for the future they want.”


Robert Cochran, key accounts pension development manager, Scottish Widows and Professor Wendy Loretto are both available for interview.

For further information, contact:

Judi Bamford, Cohn & Wolfe

Tel: 0207 331 5695

Andrew McIntyre, Scottish Widows

Tel: 0131 655 5354

Notes to Editors

  • Analysis of the ONS data was compiled for Scottish Widows by Stephen Lucas, Development Economics, in 2012
  • This survey by OnePoll was conducted with 2,700 people across Britain in October – November 2013.
  • Wendy Loretto is Professor of Organisational Behaviour at the University of Edinburgh Business School. Her main research field is age and employment, with a particular focus on changes in employees’ and employers’ attitudes and practices in extending working lives. She is especially interested in the ways in which gender and age interact to affect work and retirement experiences amongst older men and women.

Age working Brits expect to retire:


Retirement  Expectation Age

50-60 61-64 65-69 Over   70
18-29 37% 13% 34% 15%
30-49 30% 15% 37% 19%
50+ 21% 15% 43% 21%

Working Brits’ motivations for retirement*:

Give   back to community Follow   a passion Train   for a new career Keep   a flow of income I   don’t want to stop working Continue   to learn Keep   active
18-29 23% 39% 10% 13% 8% 15% 28%
30-49 22% 35% 8% 17% 11% 17% 38%
50+ 14% 32% 5% 21% 16% 22% 41%

Working Brits’ intentions for retirement*:

Career   change Volunteer   and/or community work Freelance/contract   work Setting   up own business Vocational   and/or academic course
18-29 12% 45% 9% 8% 13%
30-49 9% 53% 14% 10% 14%
50+ 10% 40% 10% 7% 10%
Looking   after grandchildren Starting   a new hobby Travelling   for more than a month Caring   for partner Learning   new language
18-29 28% 31% 24% 8% 10%
30-49 21% 28% 18% 7% 7%
50+ 12% 21% 10% 6% 9%

*Participants were able to select more than one choice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.