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How to Make Sure You are Employable over 50 as Pension Age is Raised


Article by Ceri  Wheeldon

Are women in their 50s just realising how proposed pension changes affect them?
Sarah Pennells  covered how the changes in state pensions will affect women in their 50s in a  recent Q & A (see full article), but proposed legislation  effectively means“, some women in their 50s will have to wait for up to two years longer to get their state pension. And that delay comes on top of the raising of the state pension age to 65 that’s already underway.

Around half a million women will have to wait 2 more years for their pension

Around half a million women will have to wait for a year or longer for their state pension under the government’s plans to raise the state pension age to 66”

On the one hand it can argued that bringing women’s pensions into line with men’s pensions is one more step for equality- hard to argue that one! However, the speed at which the changes are being introduced makes it difficult for women to plan, particularly those women born between March 6th and April 5th 1954 who will have to wait an extra two years to receive their state pension.
But assuming this situation is a ‘fait accomplit’, what can we do to ensure that we remain employable well into our sixties?

How to stay employable into your 60s

1. We need to ensure that are skills are current and that we remain marketable.  If you work for an employer offering training to younger members of staff, ensure that you are also given the opportunity to attend training courses. Failure to allow equal opportunities for training may well place employers in breach of age discrimination legislation.

If you work for a smaller company which has no training budget, take advantage of all free workshops available to you. To keep up to date with technology there are lots of useful tutorials on Youtube. Lesley Anne Hornbogen produced an excellent list of commonly used applications  to help anyone in support roles keep up to speed!

2. If you belong to a professional association again ensure that your accreditations are up to date – and take advantage of any workshops and seminars on offer- these are also excellent networking opportunities.

3. If working full time in your current role or profession is not a practical (or attractive) option, then look to see if portfolio working is a possibility, or which of your skills could be of interest to other types of companies.

4. Perhaps setting up your own business is an option to consider- depending on your own ambitions you can aim to establish a service based business with a view to generating an income stream, or even a business with a view to creating a saleable asset.

5. Keep healthy. We need to stay healthier for longer if we are to extend our working lives!

6. Remember, women over 50 make great employees – we just have to work longer beyond 50 than anticipated!

Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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Comments

  1. Trisha

    September 13, 2011

    I am one of those women who (now 57) have had their pension age go from the original 60, up to 63 a few years ago, and now I have been told its to go to 64 and 10 months. As it happens I am self employed on a freelance basis, as an Open University tutor, having completed an MA at 50. I did go for interviews for jobs after the MA, but was turned down everytime, which came as a real shock, as had no problems in my forties changing jobs still. Of my close friends, only one is still conventionally employed in an admin job. One other is self employed as a personal trainer (she can no longer get a job in a gym, despite being fully qualified, fit and still winning triathalons). Two others have given up work in their early 50s to concentrate on their own interests – fortunately their husbands are still earning. Both say they are too tired to work as going through the menopause, but won’t or can’t take HRT. I had to, as we needed me to work still at that point, when I was menopausal in my forties. Nothing in the new legisation takes account of these physical and mental changes in women (although of course they do vary enormously). The one that is still working, doubts she will be employed up to 65, as they shed older workers regularly. If my husbands income goes for any reason (I don’t earn just enough to pay for the food) we will have to downsize and move to cheaper area of the country, as are pensions are going down annually, we will get through this way, but the changes have made it infintestably harder. The govt should be encouraging younger people into work, and giving them the jobs, not penalising those who have paid into pensions and worked solidly for most of their lives.

    • Ceri Wheeldon

      September 13, 2011

      I agree. Employment for midlife women is a very real issue- we need both government and employers to appreciate the hurdles placed ahead of women over 50 when seeking employment. We really do need to change attitudes and mindsets.

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