Time to invest in Mid-Lifers

Traditionally, workers over the age of 45 have been thought of as “on their way out”. But today, Mid-Lifers are a growing proportion of the workforce.

Traditionally, workers over the age of 45 have been thought of as “on their way out”. But today, Mid-Lifers are a growing proportion of the workforce. Investment in this age group must increase, to ensure their well being and experience are maximised, not overlooked.

In the UK, more than 10 million people over the age of 50 are in work – a record high1. In theory, many will be working until the age of 67, when their state pension starts.

But in practice, of course, life doesn’t always go to plan. Particularly for the mid-life age group whose capacity to work and sustain an income is threatened in several ways.

Income fear

Aviva’s research among employees aged 45+ suggests 32% believe they will not have enough money to retire when they choose, while 45% are worried they will not have an adequate retirement income.2

Many are fearful because of the pressure they face to look after both younger and older relatives, a situation that’s earned them the name of the ‘sandwich generation’. Leaving work to care for someone will inevitably impact present and future income.

Equally, no mid-life worker knows for sure that they will be in work until their planned retirement, because there is no guarantee their employer will retain them. If you are forced to retire before the state pension age and dependent on the state for pension income, then an income gap is inevitable.

Taking action

Aviva is promoting several changes to how mid-life workers are supported, which we’ve highlighted in our report “Storm on the horizon? The UK’s mid-life workforce: navigating uncharted waters”.3

We discuss how the following actions can improve the wellbeing and income of Mid-Lifers and in turn generate benefits for employers:

  • Introducing state pension flexibility
  • Closing the UK’s financial advice gap
  • Closer coordination of government departments addressing age
  • Employer incentivisation
  • Unleashing technology

Vested interest

Aviva has a vested interest in developing strategies to support Mid-Lifers as 33% of our employee population is over the age of 45.

We firmly believe that companies that invest in Mid-Lifers will see significant benefits. Employees’ wellbeing will be transformed, helping to decrease the attrition rate in this age group and invaluable talent and experience will be retained.

On a national level, mid-life employees can help to address the potential shortfall in employees. Business in the Community estimates that about 12.5 million jobs will be left vacant by people leaving the workforce between 2012 and 2022, yet only 7 million younger people would enter the workforce to fill them4 – this leaves a gap of 5 million workers.  Mid-life workers are needed.

Wealth, Work and Wellbeing

The Mid-Life MOT is one of the ways Aviva is recommending individuals aged 45+ can get a confidence boost about their future. We offer the Mid-Life MOT to our own employees aged 45+ and have developed a blueprint for other companies to follow.

We piloted our Mid-Life MOT with five corporate clients throughout 2019 and will continue to offer it for other employers throughout 2020.

Our Mid-Life MOT addresses Wealth, Work and Wellbeing and is a dedicated two-hour session offered to employees in the 45+ age group. The session is led by experts and backed-up by group guidance and discussion, as well as an online hub and various free resources. Employees have the option of follow-up one-to-ones with a financial adviser.

Genuine confidence boost

There is an aspiration that, a Mid-Life MOT could boost employees awareness of how to get more support and increase their confidence to make more informed decisions.

At Aviva, we asked employees to rate their appreciation, awareness and confidence before and after their Mid-Life MOT session. Appreciation achieved a 10% boost, awareness a 34% boost and confidence a 22% boost.

Read our full report for more about the benefits of our Mid-Life MOT and the business case for investing in the mid-life workforce.


1. https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/

2. Research of 1,036 UK employers and 2020 employees aged 45+, conducted on behalf of Aviva by Censuswide, January 2019

3. State pension flexibility – see full explanation in “Storm on the horizon? The UK’s mid-life workforce: navigating unchartered waters”

4. https://ilcuk.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/The-Missing-Million-Recommendations-for-action.pdf

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