The UK workforce has more older workers than ever before, according to the latest government figures, with some 1.1million over 65s remaining in work.
The unemployment rate for over-50s has also dropped to 3.3%, the lowest rate recorded since 2009.
Commenting on the figures, Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon says: “Good health, flexible working patterns and ultimately the choice to do so has led to a growing number of over 65s remaining in the workplace.”
“As recently as 2011 there wasn’t a choice about working over 65, but with forced retirement abolished, it became possible to delay retirement and continue working. This has led to a significant trend for many to actively choose to work well into their 60s and beyond. Indeed, there’s now a growing cultural acceptance of working later in life, which has become the norm for many.”
Staying in work “maintains sense of self-purpose”
Alistair McQueen, savings and retirement manager at Aviva agrees: “A 65 year old today is very different to a 65 year old in years gone by. Our research shows that the number one reason for this age group to stay in work was maintaining social connections and a sense of self-purpose.”
However, Ms Smith stresses that while many people do choose to remain in work because they enjoy it, a significant number will only be in work because they cannot afford to retire.
“Many do so through lack of choice. Not being able to afford to retire sadly means many work out of necessity as they haven’t built up enough pension to retire on. And we need to remember that not everyone is fortunate to remain healthy as they reach their 60s, which is why people need to have flexibility over when they take their retirement income, including the state pension.”