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Huge reality gap on pensions

There is a huge gulf between expectations and reality in employees&#39 attitudes towards retirement, claims a Mori survey on behalf of Bupa.

Announcing the results of the survey at the Bupa Health Debate in London last week, Richard Wors-ley, co-director of the charity Tomorrow Project, said that occupational pension shortfalls and fewer youn-ger people mean that many people will have to work into their mid-70s at least.

But 60 per cent of respondents say they want to retire by 65 and 11 per cent of those under 34 expect to retire before 55.

The debate aimed to tackle the issue of whether Britain is prepared to accommodate an older workforce and whose responsibility it will be to ensure that the country is in good health in 2020.

The survey also pointed out that 73 per cent would be unhappy at the prospect of having to work until they are 70.

Bupa group medical director Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen said that, due to disease patterns, it may not be possible for Britain&#39s population to work into its 70s. But he added that employers are offering more in the way of health benefits, which helps towards keeping people working longer.

Worsley said: “Britain must wake up to the fact that people will be working into later life. The current focus has been very much about pension provision but the issues are much broader.

“Increased life expectancy, changing demographics and economic pressure will require a healthy population, willing to continue working.”

Vallance-Owen said: “Chronic diseases may prevent people working into later life. Someone in their late 60s who suffers a debilitating stroke or needs a hip replaced may have to take months off work.”

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