- Half of people aged 50 to 70 who left their jobs in 2020-21 in relative poverty
- The Institute for Fiscal Studies suggested that people were forced to retire early
Today it is claimed that half of the older people who left the labor market at the beginning of the pandemic found themselves in financial difficulties.
New analysis has found that 48 per cent of people aged 50 to 70 who left employment in 2020-21 ended up in relative poverty.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) think tank said the figure is “significantly higher” than the proportion who quit before the pandemic, suggesting they were forced into early retirement by lockdown and health risks. .
It will put additional pressure on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to succeed in his attempts to get large numbers of over-50s back to work by offering them so-called mid-life MOTs and apprenticeships for new careers.
A whopping 3.5 million people aged 50 to 64 were out of work and not looking for new jobs between November last year and January this year, official figures show, an increase of 280,000 on the same period. three years earlier, before Covid arrived in the country. UNITED KINGDOM.
New analysis has found that 48 per cent of people aged 50 to 70 who left their jobs in 2020-21 ended up in relative poverty (file photo)
It will put extra pressure on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt (pictured outside No 10) to succeed in his attempts to get large numbers of over-50s back to work by offering them so-called middle-aged MOTs and apprenticeships. for new careers.
Xiaowei Xu, senior research economist at the IFS, said: “It is often assumed that older people who left the workforce during the pandemic were wealthy people retiring comfortably.
‘Our analysis shows that those who left during the first year of the pandemic experienced a sharp rise in poverty, even though overall poverty rates fell that year, and also suffered large falls in well-being.
‘Some members of this group may well be willing to return to the workforce with the right opportunities, and there are signs that some are already returning.
“If the Government wants to get this group back to work, the success of policies to support older workers, such as the ‘middle-aged MOT’, will be critical.”
Today’s research showed that the proportion of ‘recently inactive’ people over 50 in relative poverty increased by 7 percentage points between 2019-20 and 2020-21, as did the proportion in absolute poverty.
Unless they can return to work, the IFS warned, those who retired well before the state pension age at the start of the pandemic “will experience persistently low living standards”.
By contrast, those who stopped working in the second year of Covid, 2021-22, had higher incomes and lower poverty levels.
As the labor market had recovered from the shock of the first lockdown and vaccines had been rolled out by then, the researchers concluded that “those who became inactive that year are more likely to have done so by choice.”
A government spokesperson said: “We are helping millions, including older workers, return to work and inactivity has fallen by almost 300,000 people.” We have committed £70 million in return to work support for over-50s, including a new online midlife MOT launched this week.
“But financial planning for a comfortable retirement is vital, which is why Automatic Enrollment has transformed pension saving with more than 10.8 million workers enrolled in a workplace pension and an additional £33 in savings billion in 2021 compared to 2012.
“We also support proposals to extend this so millions of people save sooner, while our free guidance on MoneyHelper and Pension Wise also helps people make informed decisions about their financial future.”