Fears over increased redundancies for over 60s

Redundancies among over 60s nearly tripled between the second and third quarter this year.



The number of redundancies amongst people aged in their 60s has nearly tripled in the last quarter, according to new analysis of official statistics.

Over 50s organisation Rest Less analysed data from the Office of National Statistics and  found that redundancies for those aged between 60 and 69 increased from 8,000 between April to June this year to 31,000 between July to September – an increase of 296%.

In the last recession in 2009 women could retire at 60 and receive a state pension. This year the state pension age increased to 66 for both men and women.  The figures also show that 50-59 year olds saw the lowest percentage increase in redundancies – at 71% – compared to 110% for people in their 40s, 159% for people in their 30s and 156% for people in from 16 to 29.

Stuart Lewis, Founder of Rest Less, said: “Our analysis shows that older workers are bearing the burden of heightened age discrimination in the pandemic.

“With the state pension age increasing to 66 this year, the Government has made it clear that it expects people to work well into their mid 60s, and yet widespread age discrimination in the workplace continues to make it more difficult for otherwise talented individuals to find new employment in their 60s.

“Older workers are less likely to receive workplace training than their younger counterparts and once made redundant, are significantly more likely to find themselves in long term unemployment.”

He added: “Contrary to popular belief, most 60-somethings are not revelling in their gold plated final salary pensions – a long lost preserve of their parents’ generation. Instead, many  are seeing their retirement savings decimated by the pandemic and face a significant long term drop in their future retirement income – something that risks stalling the UK’s economic recovery for years to come.

“We urge the government to offer more targeted support and retraining to help older workers back into the workplace – to ensure this surge in mid-life redundancies doesn’t drift into long-term unemployment and an early retirement that people neither want, nor can afford.”

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