Longer working lives: The future of people strategies 

Cohesive people strategies to mitigate the risks of the ageing workforce are not yet common, but they are firmly on the radar of CHRO’s. Our latest research with the Reward & Employee Benefits Association revealed that increased awareness of HR risks is linked to longer working lives.

Throughout this series, and in each of the eight reports we’ve developed with the Reward and Benefits Association (REBA), we have highlighted the increasingly urgent pace of change reported by respondents. Innovation, market demand, environmental targets and digital and technological development are the key components forcing this transformation, both on an iterative and a revolutionary scale.

In this video interview, Nick McMenemy, Partner and Digital, Strategy & Markets Leader for Mercer Marsh Benefits, and Debi O'Donovan, Co-Founder of REBA, explore how employers are reviewing their future people strategies as longer working lives begin to impact the workplace.

Creating cohesive strategies to mitigate the risks of longer working lives

Employers are conscious of the need to better understand the long-term effect of longer working lives on their organisation, both from a talent perspective and in terms of employee benefits.

From our research, the impact of changing working lives in the workplace is notable:


increase in organisations discerning obsolete skills


increase in organisations reviewing extended employment strategies


increase in organisations reviewing their investment in skills

Our research also revealed that an ageing workforce is behind the demand for greater financial and caring support. Employers are largely relying on traditional, core benefits to support employees throughout their career. Although these are effective, shifting expectations and societal trends are highlighting the need for a broader range of benefits that can support longer working lives.
At a glance, over the next two years, companies intend to introduce the following financial and care support:
  • 21%

    financial literacy targeted at older employees
  • 18%

    paid time off for carers
  • 17%

    access to advice and guidance on eldercare
  • 13%

    pensions focused on good member outcomes
  • 13%

    benefits to cover costs of caring for adults
  • 12%

    access to mortgage advice and products
  • 9%

    benefits to cover costs of baby/childcare
  • 5%

    pension top-ups during parental leave periods
I think most employers still have – for very good reason – a relatively static benefits package, regardless of an employee’s age. Flexibility is really important.
Nick McMenemy

Partner - Digital, Strategy & Markets Leader, Mercer Marsh Benefits

Longer working lives: The future of people strategies

This report is the eighth in our Transforming Engagement series with REBA and aims to provide the context and practical steps needed to understand how to transform reward and benefit strategies to mitigate people risk.
Nick McMenemy

- Partner, Digital, Strategy & Markets Leader, UK, Mercer Marsh Benefits

Mark Waters

- Market Development Leader, UK, Mercer Marsh Benefits

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