Current government attempts to persuade retirees back into the workforce could be largely futile, says the Resolution Foundation in a new report. It argues that policy makers should consider upping the age at which tax-relieved private pension wealth can be accessed or slow the rate at which money can be withdrawn before state pension age and reduce the amount that is tax free. Older workers who have left the labour force since the start of the pandemic have come disproportionately from high paying professional jobs, it notes, “and government policy is unlikely to prompt them to ‘un-retire’”. For example, in 2021, 35,000 more workers aged 50-70 from higher-paying professional and scientific roles flowed from employment to economic inactivity between the second and third quarter of the year compared to 2019. Conversely, in the lower-paying hospitality industry, the number of older workers flowing from employment into economic inactivity was actually 16,000 lower in 2021 than in 2019.

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