Britain Thinks: Tomorrow's pensioners – Savvy, sensible, sceptical and somewhat disappointed

Deborah Mattinson

By 2050 one in three of the UK population will be over 65 – an age cohort that will have grown by almost 20% since 2022. Life expectancy will extend by five years over the next two decades. People now aged 50-64 are looking at joining this growing army for a more significant chunk of their lives than ever before. How do they feel about this and how ready for retirement are they?

At BritainThinks we recently partnered with Age UK to conduct research to help marketers to really understand this group, so often portrayed by the media in a narrow polarisation between very affluent or very poor. Age UK had analysed data provided by the English Longitudinal Study in Ageing (ELSA) to identify seven distinctive 'clusters' within this wider group. We conducted follow-up qualitative research – ethnographic interviews and focus groups to develop a detailed picture of each group and their take on life.