Retirement Living Guides > ‘Unretirement’ Is on the Rise Amongst Elderly Workers Across the UK

‘Unretirement’ Is on the Rise Amongst Elderly Workers Across the UK

Old person working through unretirement

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

New research has found a surge of older workers returning to work after retirement over the last year. The cost-of-living crisis, a booming job market and a desire to keep busy in later life has led to an increasing number of older people ‘unretiring’.

Continue reading to learn more about unretirement, what’s driving this change and the effect it’s already having.

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More People are Turning to Google For Their ‘Unretirement’ Advice

An analysis of online searching habits found a surge of people turning to Google for support on returning to the workplace after retirement:

  • 200% increase in Google searches for returning to work after retirement’ over the last 12 months
  • 100% increase in Google searches for ‘working part time after retirement’ over the last 12 months
  • 57% increase in Google searches for ‘unretirement’ over the last 3 months
  • 56% increase in Google searches for ‘part time jobs for pensioners near me’ over the last 3 months
  • 50% increase in Google searches for ‘post retirement jobs’ over the last 12 months
  • 23% increase in Google searches for flex retirement’ over the last 12 months
Search Term How Much More Are People Searching For It?
Returning to work after retirement + 200%
Working part time after retirement + 100%
Unretirement + 57%
Part time jobs for pensioners near me + 56%
Post retirement jobs + 50%
Flex retirement + 23%

Our new research has also found a surge of people turning to Google for support with retirement planning over the last 12 months:

  • 122% increase in Google searches for retirement investment
  • 100% increase in Google searches for ‘financial advice for retirement planning’
  • 40% increase in Google searches for retirement financial advisor’
Search Term How Much More Are People Searching For It?
Retirement investment + 122%
Financial advice for retirement planning + 100%
Retirement financial advisor + 40%

This new research – coupled with the latest ONS data about employment in the UK - highlights the importance of raising awareness of the support available to older workers planning for retirement, especially during the cost-of-living crisis.

With the rising cost of living, lack of pension wealth and financial worries, more older workers are deciding to return to work after retirement - whilst they financially plan for their future years.

As inflation increases, the pension wealth gap across the UK will also grow - meaning the level of support older employees will require when it comes to financially planning for the present and the future will increase.

You may have lost a pension, and you can use a pension tracing service to regain access if this is the case.

How Employers Can Support Older Workers Within Their Workforce

Businesses can get ahead of their competitors by creating age-friendly workplaces where people of all ages are supported, valued, and fulfilled. By doing this, employee satisfaction, wellbeing and productivity will all increase.

There are lots of ways businesses can support older workers within the workplace:

1. Consider the unique needs of older workers

Health has the biggest impact on many older workers' decisions to remain in the workplace. Many older employees face a unique set of challenges in the workplace and the adjustments required differ from employee to employee.

Supporting your employees with health and wellbeing initiatives and access to healthcare not only encourages a happy and healthy workforce, but also helps older workers to feel supported in the workplace.

2. Help employees plan for their future

As employees approach the latter stages of their careers, many may start to think about their financial situation, what the next few years at work will look like, what age to consider retirement and what life after work means for them.

More people across the UK have recently turned to Google for retirement planning advice. Businesses can help employees plan ahead and make the transition from work to retirement easier by providing support for anyone approaching retirement.

For example, you could provide practical workshops aimed at helping older workers to achieve any career milestones and goals while exploring what the future may look like by setting up regular catch-ups for anyone considering retirement. Here, you could also share any advice regarding financial planning.

Woman chatting and drinking tea

3. Encourage career development and provide employee training

Career development boosts employee motivation and is just as important for older workers as it is for just embarking on their new career journey.

Encouraging all employees to follow their aspirations, achieve their goals and continue to develop their skillset helps to build a resilient workforce. No matter what sector your business is in, things are changing and evolving faster than ever before. Offering ongoing training will ensure all employees remain up to date with the latest industry changes.

The level of job satisfaction felt by any employee will directly impact their motivation, productivity and outlook. Offering the right training options for all employees can improve morale across the business as a whole.

4. Prioritise health and wellbeing

Older employees face a unique set of challenges in the workplace that put them at risk of mental health issues.

As an employer, you should consider the wellbeing of all your employees to ensure you’re creating an environment where everyone can feel at ease. For instance, raising awareness of any mental health resources your business offers – particularly for those approaching retirement.

5. Promote a positive work-life balance through flexible hours

Previous research has found that nearly four-fifths of workers over 50 years of age desire flexible working hours.

Flexible working has become the new norm for many of us, with people across the UK appreciating the work-life balance it can provide. It’s a positive policy that benefits all employees, in particular older workers. For example, you could offer older workers the option to lower their hours or work from home more days per week as they approach retirement. This can help many workers with the transition into retirement.

What Does the Future of Retirement Look Like?

Our new research has found a surge of people ‘unretiring’ over the last 12 months - with the reasons for people re-joining employment being both positive and negative:

An ageing population means people are living longer and healthier lives, allowing more older workers to remain in the workforce. Similarly, an increase in remote and hybrid working means that older workers have the flexibility to maintain a good work-life balance and gradually unwind before retiring.

However, with the rising cost of living crisis, it’s of little surprise we’ve seen a surge of retirees heading back to work. Inflation is on the rise, causing many households to feel a huge amount of stress and worry - which is especially heightened for those on a limited income or planning to reduce their income soon.

Here’s what else our experts see as the future of retirement:

Prioritise planning

Over the last 12 months, online searches for ‘retirement planning’ on Google have increased by 85%. Not only are we seeing people working longer, but we’re experiencing more older workers planning for their retirement years.

Taking the time to plan will reduce any stress and uncertainty during retirement – and even in the years leading up to it.

Rise of ‘flexi-retirement’

Stepping back from the workplace is a huge change for anyone – so it’s no surprise that more older workers are turning to Google to find flexible retirement options.

For some, the opportunity to continue to work – perhaps with reduced hours or responsibility - after you reach the retirement age is appealing. It allows you to increase your savings and enjoy the benefits of working while easing yourself into retirement at your own pace.

Greater focus on health and wellbeing

Over the last two years, many of us have focused more on our health and wellbeing. It’s never too late to strengthen your health as doing this will allow you to enjoy more of your passions and have a greater post-career purpose.

Many purpose-built retirement villages, communities and warden controlled housing now place a huge focus on offering amenities that are aimed at improving your health and wellbeing in later life – from wellness spas to creative exercise classes for over 60s. There are even a number of retirement villages by the sea.

Learn more about retirement villages here!

Pegasus Leyton Road retirement village in Harpenden

Retirement living developments offer secure, vibrant and luxurious housing with state-of-the-art facilities for older adults. Request a free retirement living shortlist and we’ll recommend retirement properties matching your budget, location and desired facilities.

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