Downturn means small business owners put retirement on hold

Apr 30, 2012


The economic downturn has forced around half of the UK’s small business owners to change their retirement or succession plans. Many of those expect to continue running their business for longer, says the the Quarterly Survey of Small Business in Britain.
Almost half of those surveyed still hope to retire by the age of 65. Almost one in five foresee retirement by the age of 70, while 11% expect to be working beyond their 70th birthday.
The survey, produced by the Open University in conjunction with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and Barclays business banking. Highlighted pensions as a concern, with 28% of SME owners expecting to struggle in retirement.
Should they be unable to work through illness or injury, 16pc said that a lack of continuity arrangements would mean they would have to close their business.
More than half admitted they had no insurance protection against illness or injury that would make them unable to work but 44pc believed they could rely on fellow owners or staff to continue the business.
Professor Rebecca Taylor, Dean of the Open University Business School, said: “The economic downturn has created a number of serious challenges for Britain’s SME owners.
"Our latest survey findings suggest that many owners, particularly those with smaller businesses, are having to make significant changes as they plan for retirement and succession.
"While some owners may never have intended to give up the business, many now expect to work for much longer than they had envisaged.”
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