Majority of retirees forced out of work, study finds

Almost two-thirds of people who retired earlier than expected were forced out of work rather than choosing to leave because they no longer needed the income, according to a new study by Just Group.

New figures revealed that among adults aged between 55 and 74 years who retired earlier than expected, 40% blamed health or physical problems, 18% had been made redundant or lost a job and could not find new employment, while 8% had said they left to provide care for a family member.

Another 17% of retirees suggested they had retired earlier than expected because they felt their pensions and savings were enough to stop working. A further 3% said they had received an inheritance that made stopping work affordable, while 2% said their partner’s income was enough that they could stop themselves.

Just Group’s research was conducted by Opinium through a survey of 1,607 retired or semi-retired UK residents aged over 55 years old.

Group communications director at Just Group, Stephen Lowe, commented: “The early retirement dream does not always seem to be a happy one.

“Many more people retire early due to circumstances outside their control like health problems or redundancy than because their finances are sufficient to give up work.

“Most of us have an idea when and how we would like to retire but we need to have a Plan B in case things do not turn out as we expect.

“For many people forced out of work early it will be important to fill the financial gap until State Pension kicks in. Our own research into benefits take-up by homeowners reveals far too many don’t claim the money they are eligible to receive.”

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