Support offered by employers to help staff plan for their future is too narrowly focused
A new report published by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) and the Centre for Ageing Better explores what employers are doing to support their employees in mid-life to retirement.
The report looks into the reasons for, and methods of, employers delivering support to employees approaching retirement. It also considers how further employer involvement can be encouraged.
Research into the support offered by employers to help staff in mid-life plan for the future has been published by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) and the Centre for Ageing Better.
The report, 'Thinking ahead: Exploring support provided by employers to help staff plan for their future', was carried out by the Institute for Employment Studies and involved interviews with 25 companies from 13 industries.
While many of the employers interviewed are offering some kind of support to plan for the future, this is often narrowly focused on a single issue such as pensions. Few of the employers looked at by the study support their staff with issues such as long-term career development, plans for retirement, managing caring responsibilities, or improving health and well-being.
Employers were motivated to offer support to be seen as a 'an employer of choice' and to retain valued skills. Many didn’t target their interventions by age, despite support on some issues potentially being more appropriate for workers at different points in their lives.
Thinking ahead: Exploring support provided by employers to help staff plan for their future
The research was commissioned as part of a wider project by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) and the Centre for Ageing Better, exploring how to support people to manage and prepare better for later life.
It suggests there is potential to extend current employee benefit schemes to include holistic support for employees from mid-life. This would enable them to make informed decisions that will enable them to have a good later life.
The research builds on previous work released in the last month, including:
- A qualitative study into the challenges people in mid-life face in planning ahead
- A review of the published evidence about the barriers to planning for later life
- A report showcasing four mid-life MOT pilots exploring new approaches to providing more holistic support to help employees plan ahead in terms of health, finances and careers
Andrew Barnett, Director of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) said:
“We are living longer and that is having an enormous effect on our workplaces, finances and caregiving responsibilities. While there are many exciting opportunities that come with longer lives, they need to be planned for and supported. Some employers understand this and are pioneers in this field. But most people do not receive the holistic approach needed to reduce what could be serious problems in the decades to come.”
Anna Dixon, Chief Executive at the Centre for Ageing Better, said:
“It’s great that some employers are offering support for people to plan ahead, but it needs to be wider than just financial support. Such support needs to focus on people’s goals and cover the social and emotional aspects of later life including relationships, as well as practical support with careers, health and pensions.”