The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has launched an online Midlife MOT to help older workers with financial planning, health guidance, and to assess what their skills mean for their careers and futures.
The free Midlife MOT website encourages people to review their skills and help to break down barriers to the labour market. It brings together trusted services, help such as a jobseeker toolkit and charity resources. It will allow people to identify job opportunities across the UK as well as better preparing them for later life and their retirement.
The website signposts to key organisations and charities, including the NHS, Mind, MoneyHelper, Citizens Advice and the DWP’s find a job portal.
As part of this, MoneyHelper has created a financial tool which will provide a personalised report to help people understand what to prioritise to improve their financial position, from now through to retirement.
The Midlife MOT was originally launched in Jobcentres across England with work coaches working with claimants to encourage planning for later life and boosting their confidence. Following the initial success, the UK government has looked at ways of reaching more people with the service and making it accessible for everyone – right across the UK.
Guy Opperman MP, minister for employment, said: “We are all living longer and planning for later life is essential but knowing where to start can be daunting.
“Our digital Midlife MOT is open to everyone and easy to access, and will give people the tools to make informed decisions – on their personal finances, their health and on their careers. I would encourage older people in particular to invest the time to see exactly what it can do for them.”
Jason Hollands, managing director at wealth management firm Evelyn Partners, said: “The Midlife MOT is recognition by the Government that a vast number of the population are ill-prepared for their financial futures, with relatively few of the UK’s middle-aged workers having a clear picture of what sort of retirement their current level of savings – including cash deposits, ISAs and investments as well as pensions – is setting them up for.
“It is a reminder to everyone that it is worth taking stock of these things well before retirement is on the horizon in order to make important decisions – like when to retire, how much to save and whether to pay down the mortgage.
“While this is welcome, there are of course limits to what can be achieved with a one-off ‘online MOT’ and we think much more needs to be done to help widen access to the educative financial support that so many people need and would benefit from.
“Professional financial advice is only taken by a modest proportion of the population, even though many people admit to a low level of confidence over managing investments and pensions. Much of the population is currently underserved by the financial advice sector but better use of technology has an important role to play in widening access to support and making it more affordable.”