Those Aged 65 and Older in Work Force Hits Record High

Of those aged 65 and older, 1 in 12 is in the current workforce.

Of those aged 65 and older, 1 in 12 is in the current workforce.

The opportunity to retire and enjoy life on a fat pension is not a common reality anymore.  Some are having to cut their retirement short.  In the last quarter 40,000 workers aged 65 or older joined the work force.  The total number of workers in that age group has grown to a record high of 823,000.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released the recent data and the numbers were surprising.  The last quarter’s numbers were a record high, with the previous record set at 26,000.  The ONS’s figures mean that one in 12 people at age 65 or older is working.  The economy could very well be the reason.

Ron Altman, a former government pension advisor, said: “This is a reflection of things to come.  For some people working longer is not terrible.

“But if they are forced to work longer because they have to, or they have no money to fund their retirement, then this is clearly a problem.  And come next year, the time bomb goes off – this is where the first baby boomer hits the age of 65.  Then wave after wave will retire and we have to find a way to fund their pensions, and we have to do so urgently.”

Wilson Wong, senior researcher at the Work Foundation said: “Many people have seen their pension fall in value by 20 per cent to 30 per cent since 2008, and a lot have thought “this is not enough to retire on,  I’ve got to carry on working.”  There will be a lot more in that  position as time goes on.”

Some 65 and older workers are doing so to help support family members that are having financial problems.  Some work because they have to supplement retirement funds.  While others are enjoying work and in good health and choose to continue on in their jobs.

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “Many older people want to work over the age of 65 and have a wealth of skills and experience that are not being used.”

“We want to get rid of the default retirement age so that if people want to work they can do so.  By spending longer in the work force they can have a better pension in retirement.”

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