Norwich workers to test ‘Mid-life MOT’ in pilot for UK-wide retirement plan
PUBLISHED: 17:34 29 May 2018 | UPDATED: 17:34 29 May 2018
One hundred city workers have been put through a “mid-life MOT” to ensure their retirement plans do not stall as part of a programme which will be reported back to government.
Aviva is aiming to help staff members between 45 and 65 to focus on the choices for their work, health and wealth as they begin to approach retirement age.
Members of the company’s Norwich team have taken part in a series of workshops aimed at getting them to think about the road ahead.
Lindsey Rix, managing director of Aviva UK Savings and Retirement, is leading the project which, if successful, the company is hoping to roll out to customers.
She said: “This age group is facing all sorts of different pressures in their lives at the moment and what we want to do is see what we can do to help.
“Many of them are looking after elderly relatives and often helping to support their own children as well.
“It is a growing population from an employee point of view but also from a customer perspective.”
The MOT not only looks at a worker’s finances and savings but also at ways to improve their health and different ways of working, with experts from Aviva’s financial advice, wellbeing and people departments leading the discussions in their specialist area.
Ms Rix said: “This is a demographic which will be working longer than people have in the past so it is important for people to think about how they can work in different ways.”
This could include changing working hours or working from home, in some cases.
Ms Rix also said many of those who were nearing retirement were vastly experienced and it could be valuable for Aviva – and similar companies – to still have access to their talents after they began to wind their working lives down.
She added: “The feedback we have had so far has been really positive. People have found it a useful chance to take stock and think about what they want in later life.”
As well as the hour-long workshops the mid-life MOT also provides people with access to online resources and encourages them to set goals for each of the areas covered.
Aviva will follow up in three months to see how the advice has impacted their choices and if the programme could be improved.
A pause for thought
Business analyst David Beckham, 51, is one of those to benefit from the mid-life MOT pilot programme at Aviva.
He said it had been a chance to reflect on his options.
“It was a pause for thought away from the hustle and bustle of working life and gives you the opportunity to look at things from a different point of view,” Mr Beckham, from Mattishall, said.
“It was nice to be able to get together with a group of colleagues in the same position and talk things through. It is quite easy to just carry on with your career and not think about what you might do when you retire.”
Mr Beckham, who has been at the company for more than 30 years, said he had benefitted from flexible working at Aviva and now worked from home two days a week.
“Some people may decide they want to do different things when they are my age,” he said, “and it is always good to know what your options are.”
Background to the mid-life MOT
Aviva’s mid-life MOT is designed to help employees and, in the future, customers to take control of their retirement plans.
There are 17 million people who fall into the 45 to 65 age bracket in the UK, with a third of those customers of the insurer, and Aviva, whose UK insurance chief executive Andy Briggs was named the government’s business champion for older workers, will report back to government on the results of its pilot programme. There are expected to be more than 10 million workers over 50 by the end of the year and, with the state pension set to increase to 66 by 2020, and Aviva is hoping to focus people’s minds early enough to make any changes needed for a lifestyle they are happy with.
The idea of a mid-life MOT comes from the Cridland Review of the state pension age, published in 2017, which suggested it as a way to encourage people to take stock. These choices could include deciding to switch career if you work in a physically demanding job and may not be able to continue to state pension age.
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