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Third of over 55s ‘feel forced to retire’, says survey

ALMOST a quarter of workers over 55 feel forced to retire before they want to, according to a survey published today.

Commissioned by 55/Redefined and the ProAge charity, the survey suggests that fewer than a third of employers are motivated to recruit older workers and that a third of those above the age of 55 have lost interest in their job due to lack of development opportunities.

55/Redefined founder Lyndsey Simpson said: “Ageism is clearly still a reality for many.

“At a time when we are all living and working longer, it is in all our interests to stamp out this unfair and unacceptable discrimination.”

However, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) warned that while the survey gives the impression that many pensioners are fit, able and want to work, many are forced to remain in their jobs because they have insufficient pension provision to give it up. 

Noting that ageism is undoubtedly widespread in Britain, NPC general secretary Jan Shortt said: “But I wonder how many of those taking part in this survey would choose to keep working if their pension was good enough to allow them to afford to retire.

“Unfortunately surveys like this tend to infer that most pensioners are fit, able and want to work. This feeds the demand for retirees to lose benefits and state pension protections like the triple lock, which will make the situation even worse, not just for pensioners now but those in the future.”

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “Our older citizens are working longer, not because they may want to, but because our state pension is among the worst in the developed world and the Tory-Lib coalition pushed the retirement age further towards 70.  

“Today, two million pensioners are living in poverty in this country and pensioner poverty is over-represented in black and minority ethnic communities.”

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