Campaigner to be business champion for older workers

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LEADING PENSIONERS’ and savers’ campaigner Dr Ros Altmann has been appointed by the Government as its new older workers’ business champion.

Dr Altmann, a former director-general of over-50s group Saga and an independent expert on later life issues who regularly writes for The Yorkshire Post, will be tasked with making the case for older workers and challenging some firms’ outdated perceptions.

Dr Altmann has been highlighting the need to consider retirement as a phased process rather than a one-off event, enabling people to perhaps spend a period working part-time towards the end of their working lives rather than giving up work altogether.

She said: “As the numbers of over-50s is soaring in coming years, it is so important that we ensure they have the opportunities to earn and save more, as well as continuing to contribute to the growth of the economy as a whole. I am so pleased that the Government has shown it recognises the importance of encouraging people to stay in the labour market, rather than giving up before they need to. This will bring benefits all round – to individuals, to business and to the economy as a whole. A big part of my role is to work with employers to understand the significant benefits of retaining and recruiting older workers.”

The appointment of Business Champion for Older Workers was announced by Pensions Minister Steve Webb, who said: “In appointing a business champion for older workers I wanted a powerful voice; someone respected amongst the business community, with a track record of speaking up for consumer rights without fear or favour. In Dr Ros Altmann that’s exactly what we have.”

Minister for Women Nicky Morgan said: “I am delighted that Dr Ros Altmann has been appointed and with her breadth of experience, she will be a great advocate of this work.”

Baroness Greengross, chief executive of the International Longevity Centre-UK, said: “We are living longer than ever before, yet far too many people fall out of the workforce early. Without more older workers active in the workplace there are significant risks for UK plc that we will not have the workforce or skills we need to be a competitive nation. Businesses must wake up to the challenge of extending working lives.”

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