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Record number of people over 65 still working

17th May 2013

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Recent figures released by the Office of National Statistics have revealed that more people than ever who are aged 65 and older are shunning retirement and are instead continuing to work. In the first quarter of this year, the number of people over the age of 65 who are in employment reached 980,000, a record breaking level.

These findings concur with a recent study by a think-tank from the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) which suggested that retirement is not for everyone. Whilst many are perfectly suited to finding plenty of new and exciting things to do with the extra free time that retirement brings, others prefer to get stuck into a day of engaging work before heading home to enjoy an evening relaxing in the comfort of rise and recline chairs.

These figures from the Office of National Statistics show that the number of people opting to keep working past retirement age is growing significantly, and the last few years have shown that this number is growing at a rate of over 10% per year. If this rate continues, which it is expected to do, then the number could grow from 980,000 to 1 million within the space of a few months.

At the same time as more people are staying in work, a greater number of people are also taking advantage of retirement once they have reached the age of 65; this figure has grown to 9.5 million people. Both of these high figures can be put down to the fact that those who were born at the height of the 'baby boom' are now reaching retirement age, which has now triggered a 30% surge in the number of people reaching retirement age in the space of a year.

Figures such as these have led the researchers at the IEA to encourage employers to put measures in place to support older workers and call for changes in public policy to "remove the strong financial incentives to retire at earlier ages".

At the same time that it is important that people who are old enough to retire are given the financial and government support to be encouraged to keep working, it is equally important that those who want to retire, whether because of mobility difficulties that result in the frequent use of aids such as stairlifts or simply to spend more time with loved ones, are not negatively affected by changes in public policy that encourage those over 65 to keep working. Government officials will be aiming to come up with public policies which support both choices.

Image Credit: 401(K) 2013 (flickr.com)