More than a quarter of retirees aged over 55 were forced into retirement because of ill-health, redundancy or to provide care for a family member, according to new findings.
The figure from Just Group is even higher when those who move into partial retirement are taken into account. The company’s Countdown to Retirement research found that almost half (45%) of those retired or semi-retired in this age group said that had quit full-time work earlier than they had expected. The majority said this was for factors beyond their control, rather than choosing to retire for more positive reasons.
In total, a third (33%) of these respondents said they retired earlier than expected because of ill-health or physical impairment. A further 15% were either made redundant or could not find a job, while one in 10 (10%) said they retired earlier than expected due to care responsibilities.
Just Group communications director Stephen Lowe said: “This new research is evidence of the impact unexpected events can have on people’s later lives. For over a quarter of retirees early retirement is more of an unwelcome drama than a dream as they are forced out of employment due to events beyond their control.
“People cannot bank on being able to choose the exact point when they retire and in those circumstances a back-up plan becomes extremely valuable. It is worrying that so many people are dropping out of the labour market without knowing whether their pensions and savings will be sufficient.”