- Early exit from the labour market of people aged 50 and over can damage their financial resilience.
- Some leave voluntarily, while others leave due to ill health or caring responsibilities. At age 50 7% of women were economically inactive due to looking after home or family. This compares to 1.7% of men.
- At 50, 17.9% of women and 9.6% of men were economically inactive. At 64, it was 58.6% of women and 44.9% of men.
- However, it is unclear whether the flexibility to continue working from home will remain post-pandemic.
ONS has published data on the impact of working from home on older workers Living longer: impact of working from home on older workers – Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)
Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown:
“Anything that enables people to stay in work for longer and benefit from increased income and pension contributions is welcome. Leaving the workforce early can have an enormous effect on someone’s financial resilience in retirement as well as their physical and mental wellbeing.
This data shows that the shift to working from home has had a positive effect on older workers in terms of their health and work-life balance. Not having to commute to an office every day frees up time and can also mean you are less exposed to illness. It can mean people are able to work longer than they otherwise would have.
The increased flexibility would be particularly welcomed by women who often juggle working with caring responsibilities. However, it remains to be seen if working from home remains the norm as we emerge from the pandemic.”