Number of workers over 65 reaches one million

The latest figures published by the Office for National Statistics show that there are now in excess of one million people over the age of 65 in the British workforce, which is almost double the number 20 years ago. Around 615,000 men and 388,000 women aged 65 or over are still in work and this is predicted to further increase to 1.5 million people by 2020.

This new generation of “silver sloggers” is largely due to the ageing population who make a personal choice to stay in work as they are in good health and see the social benefits of staying at work. However the choice to remain in work can also be a financial necessity for some as a result of the increasing cost of living, decreasing value of pension annuities and the cost of supporting children and grandchildren. In addition to this, some workers may not have made adequate provision for their retirement and want to ensure that they have topped up holes in their pension plans before they retire.

Chris Ball, chief executive of The Age and Employment Network, said,

“The attraction of remaining in active employment is a positive thing that influences people. And more of them now see retirement as a gradual process, not simply a cliff edge that they jump off at a particular point in their lives.

The other side of the coin is that people are being pushed to work longer in many cases because of their economic circumstances. Quantitative Easing has made a big impact on what people can expect from their annuity when they cash it in.”

Since the default retirement age was abolished in 2011, later retirement has been encouraged and indeed, this not only benefits the workers themselves, but also the economy and the sustainability of pensions.

For more information, please contact Devonshires’ Employment team.

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