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This report asks whether it is time to rethink our concept of retirement, and includes an 8-point action plan to support companies who want to respond to the challenges and opportunities of ageing.

The Age Audit has been published by ILC-UK and The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), and states that unless businesses respond to ageing UK plc faces significant fiscal and economic challenges. If the over 65s are unable to find employment, those who are in work will account for a diminishing proportion of the population. Tax revenue from those in work may fail to keep up with demand for social security from an increasingly large proportion of people aged over 65 and out of work.  Demographic change may mean that future economic growth may be dependent on either substantially increasing the productivity of those in work or the numbers of people over 65 in work rises.

The Age Audit reveals that:

  • The over 65s in the UK currently spend around £2.2 billion per week (£114 billion per annum) on goods and services. Assuming their weekly spending rises in line with annual inflation of 2%, they are likely to be spending over £6 billion per week (£312 billion per annum) by 2037
  • From now until 2037, the 15-64 age group in the UK will, on average, grow by just 29,000 per annum. By contrast, the number of people aged 65 and over will rise by 278,000 on average each year.
  • Across more economically developed countries, the proportion aged 65 and over will rise from 16% to 26% and the proportion over 80 will rise from 4.3% to 10%.

ILC-UK argue that if businesses make the right decisions to support increasing flexibility in the workplace, to raise the health and wellbeing of the workforce, to counteract ageism and to embrace continuous learning, the concept of retirement as we think of it today will no longer have any use.

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