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A Retirement Vision for the UK – unlocking the talent of retirees


Retirees represent a massive pool of knowledge, skills and experience (KSE) which is largely no longer utilised. Yet many retirees want to ‘give something back’, want to contribute from their experience, want to feel their ideas matter and want to feel fulfilled. Their capabilities represent a very substantial resource to the country which could be marshalled for the good of both society and of the individuals concerned. This is capitalised on, to an extent, by voluntary work in retirement but this represents only a small portion of the talent available within this ‘time-rich’ element of the population.


The nature of retirement and of working in later life has changed over the last 10 years and will change substantially over the next 20 years. Not least because increased longevity and healthier longevity are resulting in longer retirements for some and more financial pressure for others; retirement is no longer a slow run down to death but largely another phase of active life.


For some time there has been an incentive for Government to encourage later retirement because of the ‘dependency ratio’, however the impact of advances in technology, especially artificial intelligence, may invert this, change incentives and give us further leisure time. Lessons from managing our time in retirement and making it a fulfilling and enjoyable experience, can inform how we manage increased leisure time more generally. The opportunity exists for Government to regard the retired population as an integral part of the solution to some of the UK’s challenges by marshalling their latent KSE.


Our vision is to create a Retirement Foundation to unlock the talent of retirees and give them easy access to the facilities they need for both planning and having an enjoyable and fulfilling retirement, while benefitting society. Retirement is the first time in life that we have no structure provided for us, and much of the potential for retirees and the country is dissipated as a result. This Foundation would establish an Infrastructure for retirement, covering all aspects of retirement, with both digital and real-world facilities to guide and make it easy to access options of interest.


In terms of contribution to the nation we believe by creating a social infrastructure for retirement there are opportunities in areas such as:


  • Reducing costs for NHS and Social Care through involvement in preventative health, fitness and nutrition retirement activities and ‘longer independence’ initiatives
  • Creating economic value through various business and work-related initiatives which benefit both young and old
  • Providing an easily accessible channel for both Government and Social Enterprise organisations to access the retired community to request assistance
  • Increasing charitable/volunteering activity (new and existing) based on utilising retiree’s KSE
  • Supporting retirees nationally to achieve the 5 essentials of retirement (staying physically fit, staying mentally fit, maintaining or increasing one’s social network, living within one’s means, and enjoying life) so increasing fulfilment and wellbeing


We believe that creation of this integrated infrastructure can ultimately be done in a self-funding way. A central driving force, with Government involvement, is necessary to catalyse the situation and bring together the commercial and social enterprise partners who can together deliver what is an ambitious but highly valuable project.


The essence of the overall vision is that there is a win-win situation for individuals and the nation. It draws on over 20 years of experience of working with retirees to ensure they have a fulfilling and enjoyable retirement.


Tony Clack