Pension crisis provokes proposed changes for ageing workforce Go compare with our comparison table

Pension crisis provokes proposed changes for ageing workforce

25 January 2010 / by Rebecca Sargent

The impending pensions crisis in the UK has prompted the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to launch a set of proposals for fundamental changes to employment policies.

The proposals, which aim to: "open up more work opportunities for older Britons and address the challenges of an ageing workforce," include abolishing the default retirement age, the extension of the right to request flexible working to all, and improved training and development.

The proposed changes coincide with research conducted on behalf of the Commission, which shows that the majority of ageing workers believe that major changes to attitudes and policies are needed if they are to reach their goals.

The survey found that 24 per cent of men and 64 per cent of women say that they plan to continue working beyond the state pension age, which is currently 60 for women and 65 for men. It will rise to 65 for both men and women by 2020.

Commenting, Baroness Margaret Prosser, deputy chair of the EHRC said: "This is about developing a way of working that is based on the demographics of today's populations and moving away from systems established when people died not long after reaching pension age and women were supported by their husbands.

"Radical change is what older Britons are telling us needs to happen for them to stay in the workforce. Employers with a focus on recruiting and retaining older workers on flexible working arrangements telling us it makes good business sense, allowing them to recruit and retain talent while meeting the flexible needs of their customers."

On the default retirement age, she adds: "Britain has experienced a skills exodus during the recession and as the economy recovers we face a very real threat of not having enough workers – a problem that is further exacerbated by the skills lost by many older workers being forced to retire at 65."

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