According to the Office for National Statistics the number of people still working in their 70’s nearly doubled between 2009 and 2019 to just under half a million. This equates to one in twelve of those aged 70-80.
For most people though, retirement is a given, when considering the stress of working day after day, year after year, and the toll it will take on mind and body. For many, retirement is the finish line at the end of the rat race - the feeling of relief from no longer being dependent upon work to fund the lifestyle you want to live.
Within most organisations, there is a cohort of employees who are approaching retirement. This can be a stressful time, surprisingly, as they transition from the previous four decades of a predictable routine into the relative uncertainty of a life after work.
When work stops, so does the daily grind and the deadlines, but the new challenge is how to fill this newly acquired time, and how you’ll adapt to the change in your identity. People naturally start to question – ‘What am I retiring to?’
Why is offering your people retirement planning support beneficial for your business?
It may seem counter-intuitive to offer your people support to plan for their exit from your business, but really, it is anything but. Offering retirement planning support can help your business recruit and retain talent, and gain an edge over your competitors:
- Developing the culture by encouraging open conversations, so that both the individual employee and your business can plan better
- Improving retention rates by doing the right thing for your people - which may actually encourage those considering retirement to stay with you for a little longer, or return in a different capacity after taking a break
- Strengthening your employee value proposition by demonstrating that you care about your employees as people, with lives and goals outside of your organisation, rather than as just your workforce
- Appreciating retirees as ongoing ambassadors for your culture, who often have influence within a large network, including the new talent you need to attract into your business.
How to provide holistic retirement planning for your people
Financial planning for retirement
We all know that ensuring you can retire comfortably requires a plan. All too often we go through our working life paying into a company pension, not knowing how this is invested, or whether we will be able to achieve our retirement dreams.
A way to stand out as a destination employer is to actively help your people to understand their company pension, including exploring their options for funds and contributions, and also start to get an understanding of what these benefits may look like at their planned retirement age.
By offering retirement planning education, you can show your people (and the new talent you want to hire) that you’re invested in their financial future, and want to provide truly valuable, practical support. These programmes help your people plan for the retirement they want, through interactive and educational sessions, and access to expert financial planners for ongoing one-to-one advice services.
The key retirement questions these sessions should help your people to answer about their workplace pension include:
- Do the illustrations from your pensions show that you have enough income and capital?
- Do you want to take a tax-free cash amount or do you need higher regular income?
- Do you need to include a pension for your partner, or only for you?
- Are your pension plans set up correctly to ensure that growth is maximised, for example do pension providers know when you plan to retire?
- Will you need to work part-time to maintain your lifestyle, and what effect does this have on your tax situation and ability to continue funding a pension?
- Do you have multiple plans with different benefits that you can take at different times? And do you need support to trace old pension pots from previous employment?
- What should you do about any debts you might have at retirement? Which debts should be paid off first and potentially can this be done from tax free cash?
- Do you have state pension forecasts? Do you know how to claim your state pension? Do you have any further entitlement to any state benefits like pension credit or housing benefit?
- Have you considered all other sources of income you may have?
Lifestyle planning for retirement
The best retirement support is so much more than financial planning alone. Helping people to think about and design this next stage of their lives on an emotional, personal and psychological level is key to ensuring that our highly experienced, valuable employees feel empowered to make choices - sharing their plans openly with their employer, thus allowing everyone to benefit and to plan for the future.
Holistic retirement support covers a whole range of areas such as health, our identity, a sense of structure, hopes and dreams, communication with others, and the possibilities about extending our working lives in new, more flexible ways.
Retirement coaching can help employees to mentally prepare for this change in role and identity, and share some practical tools and frameworks to help them adapt during this time of change. From reducing their hours or responsibilities at work, moving towards a portfolio of part-time, flexible roles, to balancing retirement and a hobby to keep them active and stimulated, coaching can help them consider all their options.
Claire Gibson, Employee Benefits Consultant
Here at NFP we can support employers in improving the financial wellbeing of employees who are preparing for retirement, alongside giving them access to qualified financial advisers who can help them take action to improve their retirement outcomes.
We can partner with our sister company, Connor Consultancy, to also provide those crucial lifestyle retirement planning support services for your people, to help them manage the transition to a life after work.
Our suite of retirement and wider financial wellbeing strategies are fully inclusive of everyone in your organisation, and use a careful blend of modules to design and deliver educational sessions bespoke to the needs of your people.