Majority of SME bosses intend to work past state retirement age

POSTED: 7th February 2018
IN: Newsroom
  • Almost two thirds (63%) SMEs say they would like to retire by 65 but less than two fifths (37%) believe they will be able to do so;
  • More than a third (35%) plan to work well into their seventies with one in ten (11%) saying they will never be able to retire;
  • Over a third (34%) do not think they will have enough money to live comfortably without working; however almost a half (48%) plan to work past the current state retirement age because they enjoy their work. 

The latest Aldermore Future Attitudes report reveals that just under three quarters (73%) of SMEs, representing 4.16million* small and medium sized businesses across the UK, are planning to work past the current state retirement age, with more than a third (35%) intending to work well into their seventies.

The report, which surveyed over a thousand-business decision-makers across the UK, found that almost two thirds (63%) say they would like to be retired by the time they are 65, with nearly half (47%) saying they would ideally like to give up work between the ages of 56 and 65. However, less than two fifths (37%) of respondents believe they will be able to do so, and more than one in ten (11%) maintain that they will never be able to retire.

For those SME leaders who are still going to be burning the entrepreneurial oil much later in life, this is down to several reasons. Over a third (35%) say they need to do this to fund their golden years, with (34%) stating that they will have to work in order to have a nice lifestyle.

When asked how they will finance their retirement, over two fifths (46%) plan to use their personal or state pension, with one fifth (21%) dipping into other savings or investments. Over one in seven (15%) plan to sell their business or property.

Carl D’Ammassa, Group Managing Director, Business Finance at Aldermore, said: “Planning for retirement is at the top of everyone’s agenda once they reach a certain age, and it is a time that can be fraught with difficulties and concerns. It is understandable that in this current economic climate and with the UK’s ageing population, more SME leaders are working long after the state retirement age in order to make ends meet, with over one in ten also required to provide financial support to family members.

“Running your own business can mean long hours and SME owners deserve a relaxing and enjoyable retirement but it is in their own hands to ensure this happens by planning as far in advance as possible.

It’s not all doom and gloom however, as nearly half (48%) claim they like working, almost a third (31%) enjoy the daily challenges their business offers them and nearly a quarter (23%) state that they are still very passionate about their business.

Carl D’Ammassa, added: “Despite a significant number of business owners having to work throughout their later years, it is encouraging to see that so many of them are still relishing the opportunity to be their own boss and lead the way well after they are 65. SMEs are the backbone of the British economy and they need strong experience and leadership at the helm. However, for those small business leaders who are passing on the running of their business to others, we urge them to do this as auspiciously as possible to ensure it continues to thrive in the future.”


For further information, journalists can contact: 

Carmel McCarthy, Aldermore Press Office
Phone:            020 3553 4292
Mobile:            07464 644754
Email:             carmel,

Twitter:          @Aldermorenews

Tom Pavey-Smith, Lansons
Phone:            020 7294 3606
Mobile:            07917 165588

Notes to Editors:

Research conducted by Opinium Research between 26 and 31 October 2017 with a nationally representative sample size of 1,008 senior decision makers in SMEs.

* SMEs figure – calculated using Federation of Small Business statistics that say the UK has 5.7m SMEs (2017 figures). Aldermore Future Attitudes research showed that 73% of SMEs

are planning on working past the state retirement age. 73% of 5.7m = 4.16m

For further information about Aldermore, please review our Notes to Editors page.

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