An eye-watering nine million adults in the UK are economically inactive. The UK is the only G7 country still with a smaller economy than pre-COVID. And older workers, in particular, are shunning the needs of the country by apparently opting to laze on the golf course rather than put in a hard day’s graft.
Yep, the UK finds itself in an almighty pickle.
But don’t despair: the government has a two-pronged plan – and one they confidently predict will “incentivise our most experienced and productive workers to stay in work for longer”.
First, a 50% increase in the pensions annual tax-free allowance was announced to boost the motivation of older workers to stick around the workplace. Second, the lifetime allowance limit was ditched altogether. The aim here was to ensure long-term, typically older savers are no longer cruelly disincentivised to save.
All sounds very logical… but how can we be so sure these two simple acts will be enough to stop the UK economy from falling off a cliff edge?
This article describes three common mistakes we make when trying to change the behaviour of others… and ends by posing the key question: what can we do to avoid making these three mistakes?
Mistake 1: Assuming people simply need a healthy dollop of motivation
Denise Wilkins is 52. She is a trained chartered accountant. Despite being unlikely to be spotted lounging on the golfing greens (only 14% of golfers in England are female), she “should” – on paper – be heavily influenced by the government’s pensions reforms.
However, here’s the rub. Despite not being a golfer, she, unfortunately, has a (severe) handicap.
Denise is – along with more than five million others in England and Wales – a full-time carer for her ailing 86-year-old mother. Therefore, despite the government’s expensive reforms, Denise is, sadly, extremely unlikely to boomerang back into work any time soon.
In her own words, she feels completely “trapped”.
Our first common mistake is, therefore, to assume a good dollop of motivation alone will be enough to change others’ behaviour.