Over 50s Shun Retirement To Keep Working

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA
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Older workers are becoming more active rather than shuffling off for a well-earned retirement.

New data from the Office for National Statistics shows the jobs gap for the over 50s v under 50s is fast closing to the narrowest point in 25 years.

The figures reveal that the employment rate for the 50-to-64 age group rose to 72% in 2018 from 56% in 1992.

In comparison, the rate for 16 to 49-year-olds increased just 5% over the same period, climbing from 73% in 1992 to 78% today.

The data was compiled by jobs portal Rest Less.

Finances knocked back

Stuart Lewis, the founder, explained more people had to carry on working instead of retiring  because their finances were knocked back by the rising state pension age and move away from the security of final salary pension schemes.

“Many are actively looking to top up their pension savings while they still can but there is also a growing understanding of the many health and social benefits that come with working into retirement,” he said.

“The implications of the rising numbers of 50-to 64-year-olds in the workplace are vast and with future population growth coming almost entirely from the over 50s, employers who find ways to actively attract and retain this talented and hardworking section of the workforce will be those that thrive over the coming decades.”

Life expectancy increases

Separate data from the ONS also reveals life expectancy across the UK is rising – but more in some regions than others.

The UK average for men is 79.3 years, an increase of 7.4 weeks since 2015, and  the average for women is 82.9 years, an increase of 4.6 weeks over the same period.

“The life expectancy at birth of males and females in London, the South East, South West and East of England were all significantly higher than the national average. Of these, life expectancy at birth significantly increased in London and the South East. The region with the highest male and female life expectancy is London,” says the ONS report.

“In contrast, life expectancies for the five other regions were significantly below the average for England. However, there was a significant improvement in male life expectancy at birth in the North West region.

“Life expectancy at birth in London was 80.7 years for males and 84.5 years for females in the most recent period. In terms of a comparison with the region with the lowest life expectancy – the North East – this is a difference of 2.8 years for both males and females.”

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