According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there is a record number of people continuing to work well into their 50s. There are now well over 10 million over-50s in employment in the last three months of 2018. This number represents a third of the total UK workforce and a rise of 10% from when the ONS started recording this data in 1992.
The consequence of this ageing working population
The increase in numbers of over-50s in employment could represent the ageing population. There is a more significant proportion of over-50s; therefore there are more still working.
Although the talents of people in their 50s and 60s cannot be discounted, nor their experience under-valued, they will need support in the workplace. There is no reason why people shouldn’t work longer, but it is still felt that the numbers choosing to continue working tends to decrease significantly and suddenly. Nine million people worked at the age of 50, but this dropped to 1.2 million for those over 65. This could be perceived as a significant loss of talent, experience and potential in the workplace.
Do people choose to leave work?
The presumption is that over 65s choose to retire to enjoy life, engaging in activities other than work. However, research from Just Group, released in December 2017, revealed that 3.6 million over 65s were forced into retirement due to circumstances beyond their control. These circumstances included illness, being made redundant, and care demands. Only 26% retired because they were able to stop working to enjoy retirement.
Being forced to stop work is psychologically difficult. Indeed, the re-employment rates for the over-50s is much better than those from younger age groups. This shows that people in this age bracket still want to or even need to work. All this suggests a need for people, as they grow older, need to evaluate their financial situation, ensuring they have the flexibility to respond to life circumstances.
The content in this article was correct on 9th March 2019. You should not rely on this article to make important financial decisions. Teachers Financial Planning offers advice on financial planning for teachers and non-teachers. Please use the contact form below to arrange an informal chat with an advisor and see how we can help you.