“Unretirement” trend sees older workers returning to their jobs
November 3, 2022
When star quarterback Tom Brady announced his retirement in the offseason – and then “unretired” soon afterwards, resuming his career – he was probably not aware of the fact that he’s a trendsetter.
More and more of us are “unretiring,” reports Edward Jones . “’Unretirement’ represents a growing trend among Canadians living in and approaching retirement,” an article on the firm’s website reports. Citing recent Age Wave research, the article notes “33 per cent of recent retirees struggle to find a sense of purpose in retirement with new-found free time. Most Baby Boomers want to be more active, engaged, exploratory and purposeful in retirement than their parents and grandparents.”
So, for some of these folks, this leads to a desire to return to work, the article notes.
“When retirees stop working, it can create a void, often more social than financial. When asked what they miss most about their work life, 39 per cent of retirees say it’s the people and social stimulation, with only 22 per cent saying it’s the pay. The loss of social connection can lead to harmful isolation,” the article notes.
Okay, missing the work colleagues and all the social interactions can be part of it. Another part of it can be not having enough money in retirement, reports The Express.
“Given that living costs are rising and pay growth is pretty strong too, we might expect to see more people coming back to work through the winter and into the new year, particularly with vacancies so high and with so many employers keen to recruit,” Tony Wilson of the Institute for Employment Studies tells The Express.
The latest U.K. data finds that one in eight pension-aged Brits, a total of 1.46 million pensioners, are “in work,” with those over 65 being able “to claim a state pension while still working.” A further six per cent of current retirees are said to be thinking of making a return to work “to top up their pension income,” the article notes.
Investment News, looking at the U.S. market, says it may also simply be the great number of unfilled jobs out there that is leading to older workers being “actively recruited” for a return to work.
“We need older workers to stave off inflation and get the economy back on track,” states demographer Bradley Schurman in the article. “They are a key ingredient to solving the massive imbalance in the demand and supply of labour, which has created the ideal environment for the Great Resignation to thrive and is a contributing factor to increasing prices.”
The article makes the point that the waves of resignations by younger workers in the latter stages of the pandemic crisis led to job openings not seen since the Second World War.
“Today’s employment pictures looks a lot less like the pre-pandemic years and a lot more like those during the post-World War II, when America relied on older workers to fuel growth,” states Schurman in the article.
So, putting this all together, there are three factors that may be driving the “unretirement” trend. First, some older folks miss being at work and interacting with colleagues. Second, many retirees find (particularly with high inflation on the upswing) that retirement isn’t as affordable as they thought – so they go back to work due to income needs. The third idea expressed here is that the Great Resignation has created vacancies, and recruiters are looking to retired, experienced workers to plug employment gaps.
It’s an interesting phenomenon, and certainly is not something we saw when our parents retired. Typically, they left at age 65 and “fully retired,” with most never working for wages ever again.
Whether or not you become an “unretiree” one day, you’ll still want to have some retirement savings in your piggy bank. If you don’t have a pension plan through your workplace or if your workplace wants to introduce a pension plan, the Saskatchewan Pension Plan may be worth a look. This open defined contribution plan is available to anyone with registered retirement savings plan room. SPP will carefully invest any contributions you make and can help you turn them into retirement income when you finally put down the hammer for the last time. Check them out today!
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Written by Martin Biefer
Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock, and playing guitar. Got a story idea? Let Martin know via LinkedIn.
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