Pensions - Articles - Aegon comment on the ONS Caring in Later Working Life Report

Steven Cameron, Pensions Director at Aegon on today’s ONS report looking at the interplay between caring and working in later life

 “Today’s figures highlight that a fifth of the UK’s population in their 50s and 60s find themselves with caring responsibilities which could impact on both their employment and retirement prospects. Many are offering valuable but unpaid informal care, looking after elderly family members or friends. The demand for informal care is being driven by longer life expectancies, but our ageing population also makes it increasingly important that people can stay in employment. With the very high cost of ‘formal’ social care, the need for informal care is likely to continue to grow which could have big implications for the retirement plans of carers particularly amongst those approaching typical retirement ages.

 “Some may be unable to continue in work, but this creates an income gap particularly for women who no longer receive their state pension at age 60, having to wait till 65 or older. Others may opt to move to working part time, and under pension freedoms may decide to start drawing part of their pension to supplement reduced earnings. However, this will leave less funds to provide an income for their own later life which could force some to continue working, albeit part time, for longer than they’d planned.

 “The report also shows a significant gender imbalance amongst carers as almost one in four female older workers combine paid work with caring responsibilities compared to one in eight males. Historically, women have been more likely to be in part-time employment than men, which may be driven by caring responsibilities, but it would be wrong to assume in this age of equality that this will continue.”

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