Poor pensions and a lack of savings have led to a third of workers over 50 delaying their retirement.
The figure is up from one-in-four a year ago, and women are hit the hardest with a 16% increase in the number putting off giving up work.
Those most likely to keep on working past their target retirement age have jobs in the trades, offices and health care, according to new research by financial services firm Saga.
The research also shows many are daunted by the income their pensions will buy in retirement even though only a third of the over 50s intend to shop around for the best annuity, which could dramatically increase the money coming in during their later years.
Thousands have come to terms with working past their 65th birthday, says the study.
Boost pension savings
Although the number of men has climbed 6% to 31% resigned to keep working into retirement, the number of women has surged by 16% to 29%.
Surprisingly, while many have accepted working into retirement, the average age men gave up work fell by almost a year to just before their 64th birthday last year. For women, the average retirement age is shortly before they reach 63 years old.
The data also shows a regional split.
Workers in the south-west expect to work longer, while those in the north-east intend to stop working earlier.
Although working for longer also gives retirement savers time to boost their pension savings, few seem to compare deals.
The firm says only 60% who have bought an annuity in the past two years took the time to find the best paying annuity, so missed out on several hundred pounds a year of retirement income for life.
An annuity is an insurance contract that offers a guaranteed payment for life. The rates offered vary greatly between providers and can be enhanced if the buyer is suffering from ill-health.
Saga’s Roger Ramsden said: “Many workers are delaying retirement because they simply cannot afford to give up work, but that’s only half the story. A lot of over 50s told us that they are staying at work because they want to. They like the aspects of staying active in mind and body while still having the chance to socialise with colleagues.
“It doesn’t matter when someone retires; it’s purely a personal decision. However, they should make the most of their savings and failing to shop around for the best annuity deal is simply throwing money away that could make their lives easier.”