The Office for National Statistics has released a report demonstrating that there has been a big jump in the number of self-employed over 50s. As the estimated returns for many pension schemes fall ever lower and the returns on savings accounts drop as well, it’s unsurprising that people are resorting to working into their retirement. Those approaching their retirement are also finding that they need more earning opportunities, which self employment gives them.
Whilst younger people can deal with a lack of income, making up any difference with a pay day loan or credit card until they can earn more, this is less of an option for those in or approaching retirement who need the stream of revenue to be constant.
The chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, which represents many self employed people, John Walker, commented on the findings, saying that they were positive but expected: “The rise in self-employment is not surprising as many people lost their jobs in the recession, and struggled to find another. However, it is good to see that a large proportion of the increase has come from over-50s setting up their own business.”
The reason it’s positive is that small businesses and the self employed are seen, in many quarters, as being the key to growing Britain’s economy. The hope is that by moving away from big companies employing thousands of people to smaller operations with fewer employees, the economy can grow from the roots up and there will not be such catastrophic losses when one company fails as not many staff will be lost.
Of course, that’s not the motivation for the people who are finding themselves in this situation at the moment. This is just another example of people having to adjust their lives and plans around the financial crisis.