Retirement 'harmful to health', study says

Pensioners Retirement can affect your mental health, the study suggests

Related Stories

Retirement has a detrimental impact on mental and physical health, a new study has found.

The study, published by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a think tank, found that retirement results in a "drastic decline in health" in the medium and long term.

The IEA said the study suggests people should work for longer for health as well as economic reasons.

The government already plans to raise the state pension age.

The study, which was published in conjunction with the Age Endeavour Fellowship, a charity, compared retired people with those who had continued working past retirement age, and took into account possible confounding factors.

Philip Booth, programme director at the IEA, said the government should go further to deregulate labour markets and allow people to work for longer.

No 'normal' retirement age

"Working longer will not only be an economic necessity, it also helps people live healthier lives," he said.

Edward Datnow, chairman of the Age Endeavour Fellowship, said: "There should be no 'normal' retirement age in future.

"More employers need to consider how they will capitalise on Britain's untapped grey potential and those seeking to retire should think very hard about whether it is their best option."

The study suggests there is a small boost to health immediately after retirement, before a significant decline in the longer term.

Retirement is found to increase the chances of suffering from clinical depression by 40%, while you are 60% more likely to suffer from a physical condition.

The effect is the same for men and women, while the chances of becoming ill appear to increase with the length of time spent in retirement.


More on This Story


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 422.

    This is no surprise to me. I have known a number of people who have retired, and especially those that have retired early, succumb to mental & physical decline. We should all work as long as we can to prevent young people having to support us.

  • rate this

    Comment number 421.

    What tosh..i retired at 60, five years ago after working for 45 years..and have never felt more fitter both mentally and physically.45 years of stress, unsociable hours, conformatity and pleasing others is enough for anyone, and they want to increase it! There comes a time when quality of life takes precedence over making profit for others and being in control of your own life is needed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 413.

    What a load of tosh - retired at 63, nine years ago, the best nine years of my adult life.

    And they were paid to research and write this report!!!!!!

    Did they interview any real retires, of course not it would devalue their research findings!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 99.

    I cannot wait to retire. I work 16+ hours some days and can work as many as 80 hours in a week. Variable shifts mean that one day I could start at 8am and work to 1am and a couple of days later I could start at 7pm and finish at 4am. I am now 50 years old and have been working these hours since 21. Retirement cannot be more stressful either mentally or physically!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    Cant believe this headline- I retired because of ill health and I have been in better health than I was in previous 20 yrs. Long hrs and stress are not good. Doing a job one likes with considerate employers however might be OK but lack of direction after retirement might cause people to dwell on their diminishing health and experience depression and immobility it depends on their circumstances.


Comments 5 of 12


More Business stories



Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.