Age is no bar to working in retirement with record numbers of the over 70s refusing to stay at home, according to official data.
The number of over 70s choosing to work after retirement has risen steadily every year for the past decade, peaking at 497,946 in the first three months of 2019.
That’s an extra 296,000 over 70s at work since 2009 – an increase of 135%, says the Office for National Statistics data.
What the data found
The figures were produced for work and volunteer agency Rest Less and also showed:
- Almost two out of three over 70s working are men – with 323,000 holding down a job, which is around 11% of the age group. The number has risen 137% in 10 years from 136,000 working in 2009
- The number of men over 70 with a full time job has tripled in a decade, from 36,302 in 2009 to 113,513 in 2019
- The number of women over 70 working has more than doubled in 10 years, from 76,000 in 2009 to 175,000 in 2019
- Around 53,000 over 80s are working – with one in four still working full time
Stuart Lewis, founder of Rest Less, said: “While we know that the over 50s have been the driving force behind the UK’s impressive employment growth in recent years, our deeper analysis shows the hard work and significant economic contribution made by the rapidly growing numbers of over 70s in the workplace.
Retirement cold turkey
“Work patterns are changing – gone are the days of working hard five days a week for four and a half decades before suddenly stopping – and retiring ‘cold turkey’. We can see from our analysis that part-time work is growing in popularity amongst the over 70s both male and female.
“Those working into their 70s are continuing to work beyond the state pension age and we see a number of reasons for people increasingly doing so. With far fewer gold-plated pensions around and ever increasing life expectancy, many are actively looking to top up their pension savings while they still can. There is also a growing understanding of the many health and social benefits that come with working into retirement, such as staying active, socially connected and maintaining a feeling of fulfilment.”