End of ‘a job for life’: younger generations face nine jobs and longer working lives

14th November 2014


Older relatives may have enjoyed a job for life but now the average person has nine jobs and will earn less and retire seven years later than their grandparents.

Figures from insurer LV= show the average worker today has nine jobs and one complete career change in 48 years, changing employer once every five years.

There is also a sharp shift in working patterns from previous generations. New workers face an extra seven years of work before retirement compared to their grandparents, working until age 66 compared to age 59. Nearly a quarter, 23%, will work well into their 70s and over half, 55%, can expect to be made redundant at least once.

Workers today will not only be working for longer but for less money and will be unhappier doing so. Recent real wage decreases mean a new worker can expect a lower full-time starting salary than their parents started on, £14,000 versus £17,000. Although the number of people working from home has double in the past 30 years fewer people are happy with their work-life balance than their grandparents generation: 68% versus 72%.

It’s not all bad news for young people though, unemployment is at a record low and employees today get more holiday days.

Those working today who face a number of job changes will also collect a number of workplace pension pots and LV= life and pensions managing director Richard Rowney warned these savings pots could be lost if people fail to keep check on them.

It is also difficult to know how much you have saved if your money is spread around, with 40% of people with more than one pension pot saying they are unsure of the total value of their pensions. Rowney also warned against opting-out of pension saving if workers thought they were going to be moving jobs in the near future.

‘The job for life is clearly a thing of the past, as more of us now move roles and even switch careers. The disappearance of generous workplace pensions that were golden handcuffs for generations of workers is likely to be a key factor,’ he said.

‘This change means that responsibility for planning for retirement now lies more with the individual. Your retirement savings provide you with a wage in retirement so it is important that people keep a close eye on them. However, with people working in more and more roles savings pots can be easily forgotten.’

He added that for many it would make sense to consolidate the pots into one to make them easier to monitor.

‘To help savers keep track and better understand their pension savings, we continue to call on the government to back our idea of a ‘pensions passport’,’ he said. ‘We believe that this would encourage more savers to plan for their retirement, consider all the income options now available to them and, where appropriate, seek financial advice.’


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