IT staff given retirement wake-up call

Those working in IT have unrealistic goals when it comes to the end of their working lives, according to recently released research

IT executives have unrealistic dreams of retiring at 65, as most are likely to have to work well past that.

And to compound the problem for older workers, age discrimination continues to be widespread in the IT industry, according to research by the Chartered Management Institute and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Three quarters of IT workers questioned said they are hanging on to the expectation that they will retire by the age of 65 — even though they believe that the age of retirement for the average person in 10 years' time will be 66 or older.

Tech execs need a reality check on their retirement expectations, said CIPD diversity adviser Dianah Worman: "Our research shows that most managers expect everyone to be retiring later within 10 years — except themselves. There is a growing acceptance that the average worker is going to stay at work beyond 65. But no-one seems to think it applies to them."

Three-quarters of IT workers questioned said they plan to work part time towards the end of their working life.

But only a quarter of IT organisations offer part-time working to older employees, or career advice to older workers.

The research said: "This suggests a worrying mismatch between what employees are expecting and what employers are offering."

Despite an ageing workforce, age discrimination is still rife — three out of five IT respondents claimed they had suffered because of their age. And one in five admitted that age influenced their recruitment decisions.

Half of IT respondents said they had suffered age discrimination when applying for jobs, and two out five said their age had hindered promotion.

Petra Cook, head of public affairs at the Chartered Management Institute, said: "Approximately 80 percent of the workforce for 2020 is already in employment. As such, organisations will need to focus on up-skilling and reskilling their current workforce."