Managing an ageing workforce - a 21st century issue

Ageing workforces are set to bring new challenges for UK employers over the next 20 years, as workers over the age of 50 are predicted to nearly double from 9 million to 17 million during this time (1). With 38% of employees expected to retire between 66 and 70 (2), retaining talented older employees is an important issue facing 21st century employers. 

To help organisations to understand and manage the needs of this changing workforce, Simplyhealth has worked with the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development to produce a useful whitepaper on the complexities and myths linked to an older workforce.

Key to retaining older employees is the ability to understand the differing needs of this generation of worker. For example, there are now over seven million adult carers in the UK (3), and it is often the case that in addition to paid employment older employees also care for elderly friends and relatives. The need for employers to support older workers by offering flexible working patterns or phased approaches to reduced working hours is becoming more apparent. With 36% of the working population expected to be over 50 by 2020 (4), it is essential that we look at how to best support older employees to ensure organisations don’t lose experienced and knowledgeable staff.
Dianah Worman, Public Policy Adviser Diversity at the CIPD
With people living longer, often with increased health issues, employers need to consider how best to support their employees whilst planning for potential increases in the cost of health related benefits and services. Health cash plans provide employees with access to benefits that can support a healthy lifestyle and help prevent illness and absence. It is also possible to control the costs of private medical insurance by selecting a plan which offers a range of cover options. Further by electing to self fund your private medical scheme via a Trust or Scheme Agreement*, an employer has even greater flexibility over benefit provision. Most suited to organisations with over 500 employees, self funded health plans allows businesses to provide bespoke requirements to their workforce whilst making significant cost savings as these schemes are exempt from insurance premium tax. Planning early for the future health and wellbeing of your employees is the key to reducing overall costs and keeping a healthy, happy and motivated workforce.
Kelly Morris, Head of Employer Sales at Simplyhealth

Simplyhealth has produced a series of whitepapers which take an in depth look at various workplace issues. Previous topics have included the importance of health and wellbeing strategies, leadership and culture as well as developing employee benefits packages.

To view a full copy of this white paper or to find out further information about Simplyhealth please visit For more information about the CIPD please visit 

Simplyhealth offers private medical insurance, health cash plans, dental plans and self funded health plans to help employers reward staff in a way that suits their company. In fact, 20,000 companies choose Simplyhealth as their healthcare provider. For more information about our range of health plans please visit

*Exclusive to Simplyhealth 

(1) ONS 2012 Principal population projections and revised mid year estimates for 2002 - 2007
(2) CIPD 2014 Managing an age diverse workforce: employer and employee view
(3) Carers Trust [accessed 28/04/14
(4) Government Actuary’s Department Demography data [accessed 12/01/12]

For further information about Simplyhealth:
Lynsey Thorp, Public Relations Manager 0844 579 2266 Or

About CIPD
The CIPD is the professional body for HR and people development. It has over 130,000 members internationally working in HR, learning and development, people management and consulting across private businesses and organisations in the public and voluntary sectors.  As an independent and not for profit organisation, the CIPD is committed to championing better work and working lives for the benefit of individuals, business, the economy and wider society - because good work and all it entails is good for business and society at large, and what is good for business should also be good for people’s working lives.  The CIPD brings together extensive research and thought leadership, practical advice and guidance, professional development and rigorous professional standards to drive better capabilities and understanding in how organisations of all kinds operate and perform, and in how they manage and develop their people. A Royal Charter enables the CIPD to confer individual chartered status on members who meet the required standards of knowledge, practice and behaviours.