With life expectancy rates increasing and pensions being stretched to the limit, the trend of working past 65 is growing.
Labour market statistics for the period December 2018 to February 2019 demonstrated the increasing drift towards an ageing workforce as the number of men aged over 65 in employment peaked at close to 15% and 8% for women.
Source: National Statistics 16/4/2019
Overall, in the UK, employment of those aged 16–64 was running at 76.1%, the joint highest level ever and up 0.7% on a year ago. The increases are being driven, predominantly, by more women aged 50–64 in the workforce.
At the start of the decade, 58.5% of women aged 50–64 were in employment, whereas the latest figure is 68.1%. The proportion of men aged 50–64 in work has also risen over the same period, but less dramatically – from 71.4% in 2010 to 76.8% now.
At 65 and beyond, employment is reaching record levels for both men and women, as the graph shows. Women and men aged 65 and over have an employment rate of 7.9% and 14.2% respectively, compared to 5.5% (women) and 10.8% (men) in January 2010.
Why are people waiting longer to retire?
There are several reasons for the upsurge in service beyond age 50:
- The State Pension Age has been rising over the years. Back in 2010, for example, the SPA for women was 60. By October next year it will be 66 for both men and women.
- Compulsory retirement has been abolished and with it people are choosing to stay in employment
- Final salary pension schemes have become rare and this, particularly in the private sector, has forced some people to revise their retirement plans.
- Real wage growth (adjusted for inflation) has been virtually zero for the last decade which limits the opportunity for retirement savings
For some, working longer is beneficial beyond the pay-check. The social aspect is incredibly important alongside the health benefits of ‘getting out’ of the house every day. Of course, work-related stress could have the opposite effect. The key is to be able to choose when to stop work, rather than have the decision forced upon you. To get into that position, there is no substitute for adequate retirement planning – preferably well before the age 50, yet alone 65, is reached.
If you think you would benefit from some retirement planning advice, give us a call on 01603 967967.
Read more: The rise of the ‘semi-retired’
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