Early retirement is fading into the past as more over 60s are deciding to carry on working into their later years.
The number of over 60s still working has soared by more than 100,000 in the past two years, according to the latest official figures.
Average annual incomes for the over 60s are also rising – up £1,000 a year – mainly because many older workers are in managerial posts that command higher salaries.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings shows salaries for the over 60s are moving up faster than those for any other age group.
Between 2011 and 2013, average incomes for the over 60s increased 6.1% to £17,250 – compared with an average 3.8% rise for all other age groups.
Bolster retirement savings
The number of working 60ss was swelled by a third of all over 60s in work sitting in management posts. Their salaries average £25,200 a year.
Women seem to do well out of staying at work into their 60s as well – their pay was more than 11% up compared with an average 4.2% for men of the same age.
The ONS suggests many over 60s are staying at work because they feel they do not have enough savings and pension income to fund a comfortable retirement and want to bolster their finances.
Other recent official studies also revealed that more men and women approaching retirement tend to have mortgage, loan and credit cards debts that they cannot afford to pay off pout of their retirement savings.
This is another spur for them to stay at work for longer.
Fading out rather than retiring
Stan Russell, retirement income expert at financial firm Prudential, said: “Our take on the figures is that older workers are more willing to stay at work for financial reasons and phase in their retirement rather than give up work on a specific date.
“Of course, this depends on help and their employers wanting to keep them in their roles as well.”
The financial firm also disclosed that many workers continue until well into their 70s, giving them an extra decade of earning to boost their finances before taking a well-earned retirement.
“Many of these people have had no choice but to work on because they just do not have the cash to retire when they want to,” said Russell.
“Their plight reinforces the point that continuing to work can provide too little cash too late and starting to save just a little a lot earlier can make a big difference.”