Generation Vexed

A third of Gen Xers not confident they can fund their retirement

One in three (31%) Generation X members (those born between 1965 and 1980) do not feel confident they will be able to work for as long as they need to fund their retirement needs, due to concerns around health and age.

With 57% of Gen Xers wanting to save more for retirement but struggling to do so, a quarter (25%) plan to work part-time past the State Pension age (SPA) to plug an expected income shortfall in retirement, while 17% plan to work full-time. However, they have serious concerns about whether they will be able to continue working later in life.
The findings, which are contained in a report from the International Longevity Centre (ILC)[1] show why many people in Generation X continue to be ‘Generation Vexed’.
As many as 37% of all Gen Xers plan to work later in life to boost their retirement income, while for 25% this is their only plan.
However, they have several concerns they fear will constrain their ability to do this:
  • 59% are worried poor physical health will restrict their ability to work
  • 31% are concerned poor mental health will impact them
  • 31% fear age discrimination will restrict their ability to retain or find another job
  • Other concerns include not having the right skills to adapt to the changing job market (19%) and a fear that the economic impact of the pandemic will make it harder to remain in work (17%)
These concerns are perhaps understandable, especially as 36% of all Gen Xers, and one in three (33%) of those whose only plan for retirement is to work longer, also have a health problem or a disability.
Meanwhile, almost two-thirds (62%) of those who plan to work past the SPA to address an income shortfall in retirement are confident they’ll be able to do so – but they may find this is not always possible as a quarter (25%) of this group currently have a health problem or disability, and some 7% expect to provide care to an adult in the next five years.

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Source data:
[1] All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 6,035 adults aged 40-55. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13 – 24 November 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults aged 40-55. Calculations based on survey stats calculated by ILC. All references and methods are available in the full report, which can be downloaded here: