By Richard Eisenberg
16 June 2016
(MarketWatch) – Uh-oh. American workers aged 50 or older think there’s nearly a 1 in 2 chance they’ll still be working at 70 but many employees who expect to work longer are exactly the ones who’ll likely be least able to do so.
That’s the upshot of the new, frightening (for employees and employers) 2015/2016 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey by Willis Towers Watson, a global benefits advisory consultant. The firm surveyed 5,083 U.S. employees at large companies, as well as roughly 25,000 employees in 18 other countries.
The workers expecting to keep plugging away until 70, the study discovered, are often “the most vulnerable” and “showing higher levels of stress, lower levels of health and lower levels of engagement with their current jobs,” says Shane Bartling, senior consultant at Willis Towers Watson.
“That’s an uncomfortable fact for employees facing a very difficult situation and it sends a warning sign to employers about what’s transpiring in the new retirement system in the United States that we’ve put in place,” Bartling adds.
According to the survey, of those planning to retire after 70:
- Only 47% say they are in very good health
- 40% feel they are stuck in their jobs (compared with 27% who plan to retire before 65)
- 40% have high or above average stress (compared with 30% of those expecting to retire at 65)
- 48% of workers earning below $35,000 expect to work to 70 or later (vs. 20% of those making $75,000 or more)
And if these vulnerable workers find themselves out of work, but wanting to be employed, the psychological effects — not to mention the financial ones — could be devastating. [more]