The timing of retirement - evidence on changing patterns of retiremente in UK

“Is retirement over?” asked BBC World Service in August 2016. “Have we reached the age of no retirement” asked The Telegraph in June 2016. Certainly, increases in State Pension Age and changes to occupational pension schemes are encouraging individuals to work longer. Since the abolition of mandatory retirement age in 2011, most people have choice over the timing of their retirement. Their decisions tend to be influenced by factors such as the size of pension, health and family circumstances and whether their employer is offering early retirement. Qualitative research has found that many people would like gradual retirement – reducing their hours, for example to allow time for family caregiving. However, this is not feasible in all jobs and most people continue in the same work until they retire, are made redundant or suffer a health crisis. A small but increasing proportion are working a few years after retirement age. However, these individuals tend to have either high education and well paid jobs or work in low pay and low quality jobs to make ends meet. This presentation compares quantitative data on recent generations of men and women to show how retirement patterns have changed and offers some policy suggestions.