Labour Research October 2016

Health & Safety Matters

One in eight too ill to work till pension age

Around one in eight (12%) workers are forced to stop working before state pension age (SPA) because they are too ill or disabled, says new research published by the TUC last month. 

According to the report, Postponing the pension: are we all working longer?, nearly half a million (436,000) workers who are within five years of SPA have had to leave the workplace for medical reasons. The analysis finds that those working in the lowest paid jobs, including cleaners, carers, people working in the leisure industry and those carrying out heavy manual work, are twice as likely to stop working before retirement age due to sickness and disability than are managers or professionals. 

And it finds a stark North-South divide, reflecting wider health inequalities across the regions and nations of the UK. Sickness and disability is cited by one in 13 of those who have left work before SPA in the South West of England, and by one in 11 in the South East and in the East of England. 

In comparison, one in seven in Yorkshire and the Humber, the North East, the North West, Wales and Scotland cite these reasons, as do one in four in Northern Ireland.

The TUC has submitted its report to the review of SPA led by John Cridland, former director-general of the CBI employers’ organisation. The review will consider what will happen to the state pension after 2028.