Changes to retirement and pensions

The number of pensioners is forecast to rise by 20% in the next 40 years due to the ageing population which would be unsustainable for the Government to fund. [1] As a result, from April 2010, the Government is implementing changes to state pensions, gradually increasing the pensionable age, introducing new savings arrangements and simplifying the pension system. Compulsory retirement is also likely to end in Britain in 2011 and it seems increasingly likely that people will be able to work as long as they want in the future, with only a minimum age for retirement in place. It is also uncertain what impact the current economic crisis will have on the Government’s ability to fund pensions which may lead to further changes. Is your organisation prepared for the knock on effects these changes will have across all society? How will income streams be affected by people working longer or having to increase their savings to prepare themselves for retirement?

What are the implications?

  • Older people will work for longer, both because they need the extra income, and because they want to.
  • More flexibility and choice for older people to retire when they want, in line with their own financial, career, health and care needs.
  • Increased independence for older people.
  • Increased confusion and complexity around changes to pension legislation making it hard for organisations that provide advice on pensions to keep up to date, as well as for older people themselves.
  • A decline in the current dependency ratio in the next 40 years.
  • A smaller financial burden on the state pension system and the working age population, potentially easing tensions between different generations.
  • Those who stay in work past the age of 65 and show ongoing mental and physical capability will increasingly no longer be perceived as too old to work capably.
  • Changes towards attitudes to older people from employers as older people are still valued as economically viable employees.
  • Organisations will increasingly have to offer flexible working solutions to accommodate older people’s needs and aspirations.
  • Further changes to pension and retirement as the Government is forced to cut public spending as a result of the recession.

Moving forward

Frequent changes to pensions and retirement legislation and entitlements mean that it can be difficult for organisations to keep up to date with the changes.

  • Do you know where to go to find the correct information you need to keep up to date?
  • Can you set up systems that will allow you to easily monitor changes?
  • Can your organisation collaborate with others to share knowledge and resources?

The fast changing economic climate and its impact on pensions can mean that it can be difficult to support your beneficiaries effectively with the management of their pensions.

  • Do you have a variety of systems in place to help you prepare for a range of different changes?

A one-size-fits-all approach to pensions and retirement will no longer be possible as the Government continues to make changes to pensions.

  • How can your organisation ensure that the pension support you provide is appropriately tailored for a range of pensioners with different needs?
  • Is there a role for your organisation in helping to soften employer and public attitudes to older people working longer?

Want to know more?

Attitudes to Pensions: the 2006 Survey

Published by:Department for Work and Pensions      



What is it?A report which presents findings from the 'Attitudes to Pensions' survey carried out in 2006. Nearly 2,000 adults in Great Britain, aged between 18 and 69, were surveyed about their attitudes, knowledge and behaviour in relation to pensions and financial planning for retirement.

Pensions Reform – 2010 onwards

Published by:Department for Work and Pensions      



What is it?A webpage with information about the latest developments on pension reform from 2010 with links to reports, briefings and explanations of recent legislation from the Department for Work and Pensions.

Pensions Policy Institute

Published by:Pensions Policy Institute - an educational charity which provides non-political, independent comment and analysis on pension policy in the UK.


Format:Website and pdfs

What is it?A summary of research and policy analysis on pensions published by the Pensions Policy Institute.




  1. Security in retirement: towards a new pensions system, Department of Work and Pensions, 2006, p. 8 [back]
Last updated at 16:50 Tue 22/Feb/11.

Recent comments

Véronique's picture


Third Sector Foresight

The OECD has just published Pensions at Glance.

Chapter 1 which focuses on the impact of the financial crisis on pensions looks particularly interesting and has been summarised in a media briefing. Another media briefing summarises current trends and policy topics in retirement-income provision in OECD countries.

On the same webpage you can download short country profiles. Unfortunately the one on Britain is still to come.

Join the discussion!

How will this affect your organisation? Have you considered it during your strategic planning? Can you share any interesting relevant links?

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