A new report from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has revealed that a number of people who are working beyond their 65th birthday have more than quadrupled in the last 20 years. Now, there are a record of 1.2 million people who are over the age of 65 working in the UK, whilst there were just 272,000 in 1997.
As well as a dramatic increase in the over 65s in work, the DWP report also shows that there has been a significant rise in the number of people over 50 in work, from 6 million 20 years ago to nearly 10 million in 2017. Some people have suggested that the figures show that many pensioners are being to forced to work longer because they cannot afford to retire, thanks to a number of factors including:
- State pension age rise
- Record low-interest rates
- Slow wage growth
- Failure to properly plan for retirement
Baroness Ros Altmann, the former pensions minister says that soon, working to the age of 70 could be the norm and for those that who do not want to carry on working or are not fit enough, this could be a serious problem.
"There are people who do not want to carry on working, are not able to carry on working or are not well enough to carry on working. Work is being taken as an alternative to retirement by people who need money to live on. If people want to carry on working and can then that is great, but there are people who can’t and it is a very serious problem."
"I am particularly concerned about women who find they cannot keep working because they are discriminated against in the labour market, or are caring for older relatives, or are too unwell to work."
However, for those who do want to carry on working past retirement age, working for a few years extra can bring significant financial benefits.
"Even working for one or two years extra can make a significant difference. If you are able to, your lifetime income will be higher, you will have more money to spend both now and in the future and the economy benefits. It used to be the case that people aged 60 or 65 were past it but these days people are simply not old like they used to be, so why should they write themselves off?"