Why are a million over-65s still working?

Senior worker

The number of people aged 65 or over and still in employment has tipped over one million for the first time, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The ONS Labour Market Statistics showed that 9.5% of over 65s are now still in work.

The increase is a reflection of more people staying on to work instead of retiring, in combination with an ageing population increasing the amount of people in this age bracket.

This comes as MGM Advantage released research that showed retirement is becoming a "part-time pursuit" for many people. The investment group 44% of retirement age people continuing to work were doing so in order to make ends meet, 33% were using it for social interaction and 21% for something to do. Of these, 6% are running their own business.

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Alternative working patterns

 Aston Goodey, MGM Advantage, said: "With people living longer, the experience of retirement is changing dramatically. There are significant numbers of people who now no longer fully retire at a set date and are looking at alternative working patterns."
MGM's research found that on average retirees are working just five-and-a-half hours per week, but Goodey added it was worrying that so many needed to work to supplement their income.
However, Steve Lowe, director at Just Retirement, points out that wages in this age group have risen marginally. The ONS figures showed a total pay increase of 1.3% compared with February to April 2012. But he added: "It is vital to encourage all those approaching retirement age to properly plan for stopping working so they can make the most of their precious pension savings and other assets."

This article was written for our sister website Money Observer