Almost 60% of early retirements due to uncontrollable circumstances

Nearly six in 10 retirees aged between 50-65 were forced to quit work rather than choosing to leave because they did not need the income, according to new research from Just Group.

Of those forced into early retirement, 25 per cent cited illness as the reason, 21 per cent were made redundant and 10 per cent had to become a carer for a family member.

This compares to just three in 10 that chose to leave due to financial reasons, with only 26 per cent of those retiring early saying that they had enough savings to retire on.

An additional 2 per cent said that they could rely on a partner and 2 per cent could rely on an inheritance.

Just Group group communications director, Stephen Lowe commented: “Our research shows that the early retirement dream is more likely to be drama.

“With many people’s health and professional career becoming more uncertain beyond the age of 55 it is important that they have planned for all eventualities, including that of being forced out of the workplace.”

Just Group’s survey suggests that the situation is worse for women, as 62 per cent were forced into an early retirement and only 20 per cent chose to leave due to sufficient savings.

Furthermore, women were around a third more likely than men to leave work due to illness and were twice as likely to leave to care for a family member.

Over a third (32 per cent) of those surveyed who were forced to retire aged between 50-65 said that the main impact was a lower retirement income than they had planned for.

Around 9 per cent stated that it had stopped them doing what they wanted and 7 per cent said it affected their mental health, while just under half said that it had no effect.

Around 40 per cent of those surveyed responded that they had retired earlier than expected, while 16 per cent said that they retired later than expected.

Lowe concluded: “Pension flexibility is important because it is clear that significant numbers of people end up retiring earlier or later than they perhaps were planning.

“Early access to pension cash can be useful but people need to think very carefully about whether that leaves enough to provide sufficient income for their needs in retirement.”

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