A new study from Skipton Building Society has revealed some of the worst retirement gifts.

It found that retirees can expect a goodbye gift worth around £102 when they finally leave work. But after an average 47-year working lifetime, that works out at just £2.17 for every year of work. That's less than the price of a takeaway coffee.

'Over the moon'

There is obviously some variance in different workplaces though - almost 55% of those surveyed by Skipton said they were ‘over the moon’ with their gifts. Around one in 20 felt let down after receiving a bad gift.

Of those who were disappointed, 17% weren’t afraid to show it. Some even told their boss how little they liked their present. Almost one in 20 confessed to selling their unwanted gift online.

[Related story: Thousands denied employee benefits by unscrupulous bosses]

The worst retirement gifts

The study revealed some dreadful retirement gifts. Around three in 10 retirees got little more than a handshake and a ‘sorry you’re leaving’ comment. Nearly a third (31%) of them didn’t receive a present at all, while 7% were only given a card.

Here are the ten worst gifts found by Skipton:

  1. Nothing
  2. A thank you letter with their name spelled wrong
  3. Two bottles of wine when they don’t drink
  4. A thank you card
  5. A miniature porcelain animal
  6. A book
  7. Cutlery
  8. A plant
  9. An invite to the company’s annual Christmas party
  10. A clock radio

[Related story: Average retired household receives nearly half of income from benefits]

Lucky recipients

A smaller 15% received a better present than they thought they would. Some of the better presents included flowers, cakes, money, a personalised gift or a memento of the company that they worked at.

Gift cards were the most popular offering but some retirees received a night away, tickets to the Formula One and even an all-expenses paid party.

More than three quarters (77%) believe companies are now more likely to fork out for a round of drinks and a leaving party than buy a gift. Six in 10 respondents thought this was down to people no longer staying with companies for their entire working lifetime, while 44% believe companies don’t value staff like they used to.  

Rebecca Willey, corporate communications manager at Skipton, said: "Leaving work behind after so many years can be an exciting and daunting experience. However, for many, it seems this experience hasn’t got off to the best start due to the send-off that they have received from their former employer.”

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