Number of Britons Working Past State Pension Age Nearly Doubles
13 June 2012 (PLANSPONSOREurope.com) - The number of older workers in the UK working past the state retirement age has nearly doubled since 1993, according to official figures.
The figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal the number of older workers, , defined as those working beyond State Pension Age (SPA), has almost doubled from 753 thousand in 1993 to 1.4m in 2011. Over the period, the number remained relatively flat between 1993 and 2000 but quickly rose to a peak of 1.45m in 2010.
Over the period with an ageing population and with the post-World War II ‘baby boom’ generation reaching SPA the population of older people has increased, while the percentage of the older population in employment this too has increased from 7.6% in 1993 to 12.0% in 2011. This means the number of workers above SPA has risen at a faster rate than the population.
Darren Philp, National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) Director of Policy, said: “Our rapidly changing demographic is hitting home. Having more older people in the workforce will increasingly become the norm. Many are choosing to ease into their retirement for social and financial reasons, and part-time work is a popular option. Employers also value the skills and experience of older staff.
“The problem comes when people want to retire but end up stuck at work because they cannot afford to leave. With half the workforce not saving into a pension, this is going to become a painful reality for millions. It is vital that we get more people planning and saving for their old age, and that they start as early as possible.”
Malcolm McLean, consultant at Barnett Waddingham, said: “No-one should be surprised that the numbers working past state pension age (SPA) are increasing.
“A combination of generally better health, greater life expectancy and the right to carry on in their jobs following the scrapping of the default retirement age will almost certainly mean that this trend will continue. There is also the fact that many people are now approaching retirement with much reduced pension provision and will want to take the opportunity to secure extra income from earnings and/or by building up a better pension from those extra years of work.
“It is interesting to note that taxi drivers are one of the jobs that typically work on past SPA. I was told recently whilst travelling in a cab by a driver who acknowledged that he was in his late seventies that he had no pension and intended to work on as long as he was able. He said there was no good in him starting a pension at his age, what was the point as he “could drop dead at any minute!” Not exactly what you want to hear from the driver of your car but I admire his spirit and commend him for looking to support himself to the best of his ability at an older age.”