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Pathways to Retirement

Phoenix Insights

It is important to understand people’s expectations about how they will transition from work into retirement, to ensure that government and employer policies enable and support people to stay in work for as long as they want and in the way they want.

With increases in life expectancy people need to work for longer to secure their retirement living standards. This is easier said than done. People may suffer from mental or physical health declines that reduce their ability to work, or their skills and knowledge may become obsolete as traditional jobs become automated or as particular industries decline.

While such risks to longer working abound, there are also opportunities. For example, people have more time to try different careers at different life stages. Longer working lives do not have to mean just a longer phase of work in the traditional “education to work to retirement” model. It can enable different models, with greater emphasis on investment in health, education and career throughout the life course. But this requires adjustments to employment policies and opportunities, government support, and the attitudes of employers, government and people themselves.