Skip to content

Retirement plan poses risk – says poll

Date posted
12 February 2024
Jeremy Waterfield
Estimated reading time
4 minute read

In the week when King Charles’ cancer diagnosis became known, The Guardian reported (please find the link below), that the UK retirement age is set to rise from 67 to 71, making a significantly higher number of people more vulnerable to cancer and other health problems part of the workforce.

So, we put a question out there on social media. We asked our LinkedIn followers the question: ‘Do you think the predicted rise in the UK retirement age will lead to an increase in people on long-term sick?’

Well, you had plenty to say on the matter, with 90 percent of well over 1,500 voters saying ‘Yes’ and more than 30 coming back with their comments. Here, below, is a 10 percent selection of what was said, with our selection focused on the OSH implications of raising the retirement age to 71. There was a lot more added for good measure, which you can check out by visiting our LinkedIn account!

Gillian Sinclair CertIOSH

People who work hard all their lives deserve a break to enjoy life. The current retirement age being 67 is bad enough in my opinion, but moving it up to 71 feels really harsh. Not all of us will be lucky to survive to 71 years of age and will therefore literally work until we die. If we are lucky to live to 71, will we be physically capable of working?

If we have people working until the age of 71, will there be restrictions on what they can and can't do for safety reasons? Common age-related conditions such as eye sight & hearing deterioration, arthritis and being less steady on your feet will put many at risk of work-related injury. I know this is not the case for all people aged 67 and over; however, it is quite a big jump to expect people to continue working 'happily' until 71.

Prithy Madhoo CertIOSH

In my opinion, this will increase the cost of doing business as a whole. The rate of workers’ compensation will go high, insurance cost will rise, leave of absence will go up with sick leave, low morale and low productivity because older people won’t have the physical and mental strength to work at the same rate they used to when they were young.

Paul Mahoney CertIOSH

I voted ‘No’, only on the basis that there will need to be a realistic approach that someone in their late 60s/early 70s will not be expected to do the same as when in the earlier part of their careers. I’m not saying older workers get lazy, just that bodies start to get a little more frail, which can potentially lead to more serious injuries than might of been when they were younger. Need to take into account technology playing a bigger part. If this is not done then, yes, illness will increase, along with fatalities.

Charles Vickers CMIOSH

This really doesn't work for manual trades. Scaffolding, welding, brick layers and many more. It's just not feasible to do these jobs into old age. I know what people will say about re-training but after a lifetime of working in hard manual environments most just aren’t suited to Starbucks or Tesco.

Hayley S.

We need to be thinking about the relevant types of risk, hazards, mitigations and adjustments that would need further consideration if the workforce becomes older.

Rich Storr

You tell a tradesperson or manual labourer they can work until their late sixties and seventies before drawing their pension and see how they react.

Robert Moore Cert IOSH

I am seeing an increase in slips, trips and falls involving older workers which also result in fractures. Some of these workers would love to retire but financially they cannot afford to.

Alan Barwise CertIOSH

I wonder if anything is being done with regard to persons with old age passing away on the shopfloor? Is counselling given to those that find them? Do we consider the increased risks with manual handling and workplace traffic? So many issues to discuss.

Jai Restall CMIOSH

I think it could also mean more fatalities in the workplace.

Stephanie Littler TechIOSH

I’d say ‘No’ because those who have a long-term illness will be dismissed.

What’s your view?

Visit our LinkedIn post to view all the comments and add your thoughts.

Last updated: 15 February 2024

Jeremy Waterfield

Job role
Content Officer


  • People and workforce

Related links