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Let's talk about retirement.

Shazeda 01 Jun 10:35 4 min read
Retired couple having fun playing games

Retirement age

Retirement is the action or fact of leaving one's job and ceasing to work. It could be because an employee has reached their state pension age and no longer need to work (find your age here). However, people aged 65 and over can still work if they choose to unless there are aspects around the physical or mental ability to work or legally cannot, e.g. fire service. The decision to retire or not is up to the employee and is a sensitive conclusion they have to make themselves. One might choose to stay at a company longer because they enjoy their livelihood or want to take a break from employment; either way, the company should make sure the individual feels strengthened and comfortable.

It is difficult for your employees to decide as they could be at their highest employment position, peak income, and excellent job satisfaction. For instance, a person might choose to delay their retirement as this could increase their pension. A helpful tool for employees includes using a pension calculator to work out their funding saved for retirement. The calculations can help plan ahead and decide if the pension is enough to cover living expenses for retirement.

Yet, it is inevitable for workers to retire in the workplace and should be aware of such notice. A company must support each worker as they leave to avoid age discrimination claims and lawsuits.

Early retirement

Retiring earlier than the state pension age could be for several reasons: ill-health, redundancy, or work pressure. If your employee wants to leave earlier than usual, check the workplace retirement scheme to see what benefits they can claim.

In some cases, employees may be unable to work due to their health conditions; this is considered a medical retirement. It is imperative to be caring in this situation as they are most likely going through emotional and physical pain. If an employee's life expectancy is less than one year, they may be able to claim all of their pension tax-free, which could help create financial ease.

The company may have to dismiss members from the workplace; this is called redundancy; this would be based on the worker's experience or capability to perform the job. It is important to not discriminate by age, and a good HR manager would be aware of the worker's rights and how to go about it.

As the company grows, the pressure from the work can become too much for anyone or no longer fit their current lifestyle. In some cases, a person can start receiving their state pension from 55yrs old, so they may choose to leave employment earlier to pursue other passions.

Flexible retirement

For some, the choice to leave altogether may be a shock, so they choose to leave progressively. An employee's work could go over a certain period without giving up on work; for example, they could have shorter days. If the workplace scheme permits, your employee may be able to draw part of their pension first, increasing the amount later on. A flexible retirement would help them ease into their pension plan, so they feel supported and ready to move on to whatever they choose.

Pensions

A pension is a way to save money for later in life. When the individual has reached the age to take out the money, usually 25% is taken out tax-free, and then the rest is given out as a regular payment. The funds may be from the government (state pension), or one might need more money than a state pension, so choose to join pension schemes as an individual or your workplace may have paid into when labouring.

Most corporations offer a private workplace pension. An example of pension plans used by businesses are Nest or Aegon, these partner with companies to provide a pension plan for their workers. Employees can enroll in the scheme if they are:

  • Aged 22 to state pension age
  • Earn more than 10k annually
  • Work in the UK
  • They are not already in a pension scheme

Building a private pension to save money later in life can be a defined contribution (by how much you put in) or a defined benefit (your salary and how long you've worked). The individual or/and the employer can create a pension plan. Some schemes will also add tax relief from the government for holding the money.

Private pensions are optional, and employees can opt out if they want to; there are positives and negatives. However, HR needs to ensure employees are confident about their choice as it is a long-lasting decision.

This article has briefly gone over retirement. The information cites the government website, which offers contact if there are any queries about the United Kingdom laws and regulations. Age UK is a charity to help support individuals about their concerns around their elderly age and can help with information and links for troubles with paying debts or tracing their pension post and much more.

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