This may be welcomed by those who are in rewarding jobs and who don’t fell ready to leave. Those who don’t have a job and whose pension entitlement has been deferred for several years may feel differently.
It is one thing to remain in a job past 60 or 65 if you’ve been employed by the organisation for a number of years. But what if you were made redundant in your late 40s or early 50s and find that job openings for you are negligible to non-existent? How will you manage until you reach the new retirement age (or even the old one?)
Many Midlifers find themselves in this position, through no fault of their own. They are ‘over qualified’ (too old) for most jobs that they apply for even if they are willing to take a large cut in their salary expectations.
The government (all governments) seem unable or unwilling to recognise that Midlifers who aren’t employed in their 50s face a severe uphill struggle to gain meaningful employment for the remainder of their working lives. Maybe the government is just naïve and doesn’t believe that the ‘over qualified’ (too old) response from recruiters and employers is the reality of life. Why should they; they are so far removed from the coal face that they believe their own rhetoric.
People in midlife have little support. People of pensionable age have a whole raft of support. Young people, too, have a host of government initiatives aimed at helping them to find worthwhile work (these initiatives may or may not be succeeding but at least they focus on the issue). Midlifers have little or no support to find a new role for themselves. They fall down between the cracks in the floorboards of life and many are unable to find a way out.
Vast amounts of experience are being wasted as talented midlifers struggle to find an outlet for their expertise. They can’t fallback on ‘early retirement’ in most cases as their pension pots aren’t sufficient to cover their needs. Neither do they want to retire prematurely – most midlifers want to carry on in the world of work, earning their living and putting their experience to good use.
There is a ticking time bomb here that is largely unrecognised.
So what’s to be done?
The government must recognise this issue and understand the implications of their changes in working policies. The Mid Life Opportunity will shortly be launching a campaign to raise the profile of midlifers. If you would like to be part of this, please join The Mid Life Opportunity mailing list and make your voice heard! Join here: The Mid Life Opportunity
Rob Horlock has established The Mid Life Opportunity (www.midlifeop.com), a community for people in Midlife. Advice and Guidance is available from The Mid Life Coaching Panel. It’s free to join - click here