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Working beyond retirement

Research shows that people are living longer, fuller lives as more people now work beyond the age of 65

Bingley, United Kingdom, 2 June 2016 – As life expectancy increases and people are experiencing at least an extra ten years of active lifestyles, it comes as no surprise that more people are now working beyond retirement age.  

Research published by Emerald Group Publishing suggests that there are more than one million workers over the age of 65 still working in the UK – that is 10% of the UK workforce.  Yet, despite this change in demographics, people are suffering from ageist stereotypes within the workplace, leading to 35% of them becoming self-employed.  

Jonathan Collie, Author of ‘The Age of No Retirement’ from the Working with Older People journal states: “If older people are indeed healthier, more skilled, better educated and more committed than ever before, and businesses need their skills, why are we not seeing more older people in the workplace?  If older people are indeed more vital, productive and motivated, why is it then that most younger adults think that older people play no part in the economic prosperity of the UK?”

Including older workers within the workforce can have many benefits for the employee and employer.  Working later in life is thought to lead to greater life expectancy for the employee, while organizations can use their experience and skills to gain competitive advantage.

The importance of embracing people of all ages within the workforce is something discussed in the research paper - ‘'Addressing the challenges of an ageing workforce: an intergenerational learning toolkit’' from the Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal - by Donald Ropes, Associate Professor at Inholland University.  Professor Ropes explains that: “Employee development and learning is a critical success factor for organizations, helping them to adapt and innovate in a changing environment.  However, from various studies, I know that personnel above the age of 55 typically do not take part in formal learning and development at work. 

“As the number of older workers grows, organizations will need to learn to stimulate development and learning among this group, or risk losing competitive advantage.”

“Older workers have more experience and therefore also have a wide range of skills and competencies that younger workers may take time to learn and so if an organization can engage their workforce, they could create a more engaged, loyal and client focussed organization.”

This year, Queen Elizabeth II has celebrated her 90th birthday - she is the world’s longest reigning monarch and still active within her role.  To celebrate the Queen’s birthday and highlight the benefits of working beyond retirement, Emerald has produced a dedicated web page which includes free access to several pieces of research all aimed at breaking down ageist stereotypes and embracing all members of the workforce.  

To view this page, share the content and download the research, click here: 

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Emerald Publishing was founded in 1967 to champion new ideas that would advance the research and practice of business and management. Today, we continue to nurture fresh thinking in applied fields where we feel we can make a real difference, now also including health and social care, education and engineering. We publish over 300 journals, more than 2,500 books and over 1,500 case studies, via our dedicated research platform


Nicolle Vare
PR Executive
Emerald Publishing Limited
Phone: +44 (0) 1274 785252