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Half of nonretired Britons expect to work beyond state pension age


  • Those under the age of 66 and planning on working beyond state pension age, expect to work until they are 72
  • More than a third (36%) will do so because they worry their pension will not be sufficient to cover their day-to-day expenses. This rises to more than half (52%) of those aged 55 or over
  • Another third (33%) are concerned about their health deteriorating because of working longer


New research from Canada Life1 reveals that half (49%) of Britons who are not already retired2 plan to work beyond the age they will receive their state pension - equivalent to 19.2 million. Of those who are planning to work beyond state pension age, the average individual expects to work until they are 72, up from the estimated 70 years old in 20223 when Canada Life last conducted similar research.

Why are people considering working beyond state pension age?

Finances are the top reason for working beyond state pension age. More than a third (36%) will continue working because they don’t think their pension will cover their day-to-day expenses. Of this same group, more than half (52%) are aged 55 or over.

Almost a third (30%) are worried about the cost-of-living crisis. Similarly, 29% are not sure how long their money will last.

However, money is not all that is keeping UK workers in the workplace beyond state pension age. Nearly a quarter (23%), will do so because they enjoy the routine of work, a fifth (20%) like their job, and 18% have not prepared for retirement.

For those who are thinking about working beyond state pension age, half (51%) plan to stay within the same or similar roles.

Key concerns working beyond retirement age

For those who plan to work beyond state pension age, 34% are concerned they will not be able to enjoy their old age as a result. A third (33%) are worried about their health deteriorating because of working longer, and a quarter (24%) about not being able to spend quality time with family. With AI and technology becoming more integrated within the workplace, 18% are concerned that they will not be able to keep up with new technological changes.

Dan Crook, Protection Sales Director, Canada Life, comments: “It’s clear the cost-of-living crisis is making people re-evaluate their plans with many of those who are approaching retirement now facing the possibility of working beyond their state pension age. For those who have to work in order to make ends meet, it’s understandable that this prospect may not be welcome.

“However, the positives that work offers should not be ignored, for both the employee and the employer.

Older workers are a huge asset to the workplace, bringing years of experience as well as a wealth of resilience and insight that can benefit both younger workers and the company they work for.

“Regardless of the reason for people to continuing to work beyond the state pension age, employers have a duty of care to ensure they support an inclusive culture and understand the changing needs of older colleagues.”

Benefits and perks beyond state pension age

Benefits and perks are a key consideration for all employees and can be significant enough to motivate individuals to accept a job. A third (34%) of all British workers have been swayed to take a job because of a competitive benefit package or company policy.4

When asked what employers could offer that would be of most use to those working past state pension age, 45% said income protection. This was followed closely by critical illness cover (39%) and life insurance (38%). A quarter (24%) think access to a rehabilitation service which helps you get back into work after a serious illness would be the most useful.

Dan Crook continues: “Employers should foster a culture where their older workforce feels able and comfortable to continue their working lives. This comes through understanding the individual needs of their workforce, which change depending on which stage of life they are at. Offering relevant benefits such as group life, group income protection and group critical illness cover (solutions that normally come with additional support services) is a simple yet effective way to support employees.”




Notes to editors

  1. Source: Survey conducted by Opinium among a national representative sample of 2,000 UK adults between 10 - 14 November 2023.
  2. Questions asked to a subset of UK adults under age 66 who have not yet retired.
  3. Source: Survey conducted by Opinium among a national representative sample of 2,000 UK adults between 21 - 25 October 2022.
  4. Source: Survey conducted by Opinium among a national representative sample of 2,000 UK adults between 11 - 15 August 2023



Press enquiries should be directed to:

Lizzie Murray, Vested, 07914 698 310,

Elle McAtamney, Canada Life, 07913 568213,


About Canada Life

Canada Life is part of a group of companies controlled by Great-West Lifeco Inc., a diversified financial services holding company headquartered in Winnipeg, Canada. Through its subsidiary companies, Great-West Lifeco has operations in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Great-West Lifeco and its insurance subsidiaries have received strong ratings from major rating agencies.  Great-West Lifeco has over 38 million customers worldwide and £1.532trillion assets under administration (as at 31 December 2022).

Canada Life Limited began operations in the United Kingdom in 1903 and looks after the retirement, investment and protection needs of individuals and companies alike. As well as providing stability and security through its individual contracts, Canada Life Limited has grown and maintained its position as the market leading provider of group insurance solutions.1 Canada Life acquired Retirement Advantage on 3rd January 2018 for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition added over 30,000 retirement income and equity release customers and more than £2 billion of assets under management including a £1.5 billion block of in-force annuities to Canada Life.

Canada Life Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Canada Life International Limited and CLI Institutional Limited are Isle of Man registered companies authorised and regulated by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority. Canada Life International Assurance Limited and Canada Life International Assurance (Ireland) DAC are authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Stonehaven UK Limited, registered in England and Wales no. 05487702. Registered office: Canada Life Place, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire EN6 5BA.

Stonehaven UK Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


  1. Canada Life MI & Swiss Re, 2022