There has been a significant increase in the number of older workers leaving the labour market before they reach state pension age. This has been driven by an increase in the numbers leaving because of long-term health conditions, and an increase in the numbers retiring from paid work. It has reversed long-term trends that have seen men and women extend their working lives over the last 25 years, and is damaging for both older people who are at increased risk of having to rely on inadequate working age benefits, and the wider economy which is experiencing skills and labour shortages.
Ensuring that older workers can participate in the labour market will require major changes in the workplace to ensure that older workers have the skills they need and that jobs and workplaces meet the needs of an ageing workforce. And making sure that those who are unable to continue working into their mid-sixties are not penalised as a result will require an overhaul of working and pension age benefits. – Trades Union Council 23 February 2022