More than half (56%) of people retiring in 2021 don’t plan on giving up work completely, according to new research from Standard Life Aberdeen.

In its Class of 2021 report, Standard Life Aberdeen surveyed people that are planning to retire this year, with the findings highlighting a new preference for ‘flexi-retirement’. 

One in four (27%) plan to go part-time rather than leave employment altogether, one in five (19%) will dedicate time to volunteering and just over one in twenty (6%) want to set up their own business. 

John Tait, Retirement Advice Specialist at Standard Life Aberdeen, said:

“What it means to retire has been evolving for some time now. Long gone are the days of everyone having a set date or a set age from which they’ll never work again.  Instead there is a noticeably growing trend towards flexi-retirement and continuing to work. Whether that be a financial decision, or an emotional one, how you choose to retire will entirely depend on what is right for you.”

Standard Life Aberdeen’s Class of report also surveyed people who retired amidst the pandemic in 2020. 

A third (34%) of 2020 retirees decided to continue working to some degree in retirement.  

A further one in five (21%) are now considering returning to work part-time having stopped working, while a very small number (2%) are considering going back to work full time.

Three in 20 (14%) new retirees said that going part-time first would have made them more confident in their first 12 months of retirement. 

Despite the pandemic and some wishes to return to work already, overall, those who retired in 2020 are glad they did, with seven in ten (70%) happy with their decision. 

Tait continued:

“The pandemic has clearly only further fuelled this flexi-retirement trend – with our research showing that more of the Class of 2021 are planning to carry on working to some degree compared to 2020 retirees. Meanwhile, some of last year’s retirees are already contemplating returning to work. 

“Retiring amidst a pandemic wouldn’t have been what last year’s retirees had planned for, and perhaps going back to work was made more appealing given the lockdown restrictions. However, with restrictions now gradually lifting, many will be gearing up to start enjoying the retirement they had planned for. Whether that be travelling the world, spending more time with the family, or continuing to work part-time.”


Media enquiries 

For further information, contact:
Anna Penson
T: +44 (0)131 460 7922
M: +44 (0)7464 444 660 

Consumer research of 2,000 UK adults who were either due to retire in the next 12 months, or had retired in the past 12 months. 
Research was carried out by Censuswide in February 2021.

About Retirement Advice from Standard Life Aberdeen 
Retirement Advice from Standard Life Aberdeen is a new advice service combining the benefits of traditional face to face advice with the convenience of digital.
With experienced advisers on the phone, supported by innovative technology behind the scenes, it’s designed to be a lower cost way to get advice on your retirement. 

Retirement Advice from Standard Life Aberdeen can help customers who are ready or preparing to retire, and offers a free retirement income estimate in a personalised Retirement Report via their website.

By answering a few simple questions, in less than 5 minutes customers can get an idea of how much income they could expect from all their assets, not just pensions. Using the Retirement Living Standards, an independent benchmark, customers can see how their income compares. Plus, if they have a partner, they can see all their assets and incomes together.

Retirement Advice can involve investing, the value of investments can go down as well as up, and could be worth less than originally invested. 

Read more information about Retirement Advice from Standard Life Aberdeen.


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