Responses to John Cridland's review of the State Pension Age

Press Releases

23 Mar 2017

Duncan Brown, Head of HR Consultancy:

'Addressing the challenges of an ageing population and workforce is one that requires a long-term orientation and depends on a partnership between (and contributions from) state, employers and employees.

‘Employers are therefore likely to welcome the opportunity for clarity and certainty in the state pension and retirement age that Cridland proposes. Employers will also welcome the interesting ideas on flexibility in when and how that pension is taken. It will support employers’ efforts to retain more older workers in the future on a flexible basis.’

Annette Cox, Associate Director:

‘One interesting initiative proposed in the review is to revive the concept of mid-life reviews and extend them from careers to a more holistic ‘MOT’ for people to assess their aspirations for later life and how they can meet them. It’s clear that external support is needed here, as while other countries such as Denmark use these successfully (CIPD, 2016), some employers are nervous about initiating conversations about older workers’ futures (DWP, 2017).

‘The online approach discussed will be suitable for some, but many of us require some nudging and prompting to engage in this kind of activity. Many dislike planning ahead and tend to bury their heads in the sand when contemplating later life.  It will be critical that substantial face-to-face support through the National Careers Service is targeted at the most vulnerable – these are people likely to be working in manual roles, with existing or emerging health conditions, at risk of an inadequate income in retirement and facing some skills challenges in transitioning into new roles in later life (Cox et al, 2015).

‘In addition, the proposal for statutory carers’ leave will go some way to help the growing army of older workers who face the demanding responsibilities of looking after older relatives. It remains to be seen what policy levers the government will use to encourage employers to implement suitable policies to support carers adequately. IES’ evaluation of the Carers’ Employment Pilot for SCIE will complete in early summer and will illustrate how practice in this area can be developed.’


Notes to editor

For interviews or further information, please contact Mark Jack:

01273 763 435 or

Annette Cox and Duncan Brown are available for interview/further comment.

John Cridland CBE’s independent review of the State Pension Age is available to read here:

Further information on IES’ evaluation of the Carers’ Employment Pilot for SCIE is available on the Institute for Employment Studies website:

Research reports cited by Annette Cox:

CIPD (2016), Creating longer, more fulfilling working lives: Employer practice in five European countries, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

DWP (2017), Employer experiences of recruiting, retaining and retraining older workers, Department for Work and Pensions

Cox et al (2015), Factors facilitating or constraining interventions to protect and promote health of older workers and to help plan and prepare for retirement, National Institute for health and Care Excellence (NICE)

About the Institute for Employment Studies

The Institute for Employment Studies is the UK’s leading independent centre for research and evidence-based consultancy in employment, labour market and human resource policy and practice. It is apolitical and not-for-profit, its activities being funded through research and consultancy commissions, and from its corporate membership programme. The Institute aims to improve employment policy in the UK and internationally by carrying out authoritative research of practical relevance to policymakers and those responsible for implementing policy programmes and initiatives

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About Duncan Brown

Dr Duncan Brown leads the HR consultancy work at IES. He has more than 25 years' experience in HR consulting and research, with firms including Aon Hewitt, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Towers Perrin. He also spent 5 years as Assistant Director General at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Duncan has an MA from Cambridge, an MBA from the London Business School and recently completed his PhD in reward strategy at Kingston University.

About Annette Cox

Annette has a broad portfolio of research interests covering skills-policy design and evaluation; workforce ageing; organisational performance; employee involvement, health and wellbeing; and reward management. She has 20 years of research experience on HR and employment topics. Her clients have included the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, The Scottish Government, the Welsh Government, Acas, the European Commission, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, the European Agency for Occupational Safety and Health and Cedefop.