This research was commissioned in 2010 to understand how people actually make decisions on when and how to retire. A better understanding of people’s retirement decisions will ensure policies to encourage working longer are as effective as possible. The research sought to explore whether behavioural economic theory and models could be applied to DWP policies on encouraging longer working and saving for retirement. In particular whether individuals can be nudged to extend their working lives and make adequate provision for retirement.
The research summarises general literature on decision-making and behaviour change and provides a synthesis of DWP commissioned research and other evidence on people’s orientations, attitudes and decision making behaviour in relation to extending working life and saving for retirement (see links below to selected examples of previous DWP research).
The report draws out the important role which employers play in enabling people to extend their working lives and identifies the benefits of adopting flexible approaches to work and retirement that can help people to work up to State Pension age and beyond. The DWP’s Age Positive Initiative has been working closely with business lead organisations to develop and share guidance and case studies with employers on employing and retaining older workers as part of a mixed age workforce. This was one of the key themes of our extensive Sector Initiative, working with over 80 employer lead organisations across nine of the largest sectors to help employers manage removal of the default retirement age in the context of their own sectors.
We are also working with a range of lead business and age expert organisations through the Age Action Alliance’s Healthy Workplaces group to develop and promote the business case and practical resources for employers on effectively managing the health and productivity of an ageing workforce. DWP will help to disseminate this practical support to employers through sector lead organisations as part of the Sector Initiative legacy and to Local Authorities to inform their own work with local business communities.