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Law firms face prospect of senior lawyers being too poor to retire

By Neasa MacErlean

17 June 2015 at 07:52 BST

A liberalisation of UK pension laws this year is leaving law firms wondering if there is a danger that their older staff 'may not want to or may not be able to afford to retire because they have not saved enough or have spent their pension funds'.

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Over a quarter (27 per cent) of law firms surveyed for the 'HR in Law & Portus Employee Benefits Survey 2015' report, fear they may face people management issues as a result of the launch of pension freedoms', according to Portus Consulting which conducted research among 118 law firms. The new freedoms allow 55-year olds and older people to take all or some of their pension savings out and to spend it however they want. 

Balanced age profile

Since employees can no longer be forced to retire just because they have reached a particular age, law firms could find that they 'can no longer rely on a default retirement age' in order 'to maintain a balanced age profile', according to Portus. But 'firms are responding by offering paid-for pension and retirement advice', says the report. Some 45 per cent of firms surveyed plan to provide guidance - a figure which rises to 56 per cent among US and global firms. 

Private medical cover

Most law firms offer a pension scheme which lets staff put in five per cent of their pay to the pension scheme - a sum that is usually matched by the law firm. Some 75 per cent provide private medical insurance to lawyers and 66 per cent offer it to support staff. Source: Portus


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