The Number of Women Aged Between 60 and 64 In Work has Increased by 51% Since Changes to the State Pension Age Were Introduced in 2010

The number of women aged between 60 and 64 in work has increased by 51% since the 1995 Pensions Act came into effect which increased the female state pension age from 60 to 65 since 2010, according to new analysis from Rest Less, a jobs, volunteering and guidance site for the over 50s.

Between October and December 2009, there were 644,674 women aged between 60 and 64 in work. In the same period in 2019, there were 976,376 women aged between 60 and 64 in work – an increase of 331,702 or 51 per cent. This contrasts with an increase of only 127,882 (or 13%) in the number of men working aged between 60 and 64 over the same period.

The analysis, conducted by Rest Less, is based on bespoke data requested from the Office of National Statistics. The report highlights the impact of the 1995 and the 2011 Pensions Acts which increased, and then accelerated the female state pension age from 60 to 65 between 2010 and 2018. The qualifying state pension age for both men and women will be raised to 66 by October this year and 67 by 2028.

Rest Less’s analysis also shows that the number of women aged 60 to 64 in work has increased dramatically in the 20 year period since 1999, increasing by 610,673 from 365,703 – a 167 per cent increase.

Table 1

number of women 60-64 in work

Commenting on the analysis, Stuart Lewis, Founder of Rest Less, said: 

“The rapid increase in the women’s state pension age since 2010 has had a profound impact on women in their 60s: the employment rate of women aged between 60 and 64 has increased from 34 per cent to 51 per cent in just 10 years.

‘As well as adjusting to the financial implications of the new state pension age, the added frustration for many comes from the continued challenge to find meaningful work in their 60s when age discrimination in the workplace remains all too prevalent.
‘Demographic changes in the UK are only moving in one direction. Progressive employers who start embracing age in the workplace by introducing programs to attract, engage and retain talented older workers will be the ones who prosper in the coming decade.”

Patrick Thompson, Programme Manager at the Centre for Ageing Better, commented:

“For the first time in the UK there are more women aged 60-64 in work than not. This is a seismic shift, with profound implications for the economy and for women in later life.

For many women this will be a positive choice, with work providing financial independence, an opportunity to save for retirement, meaning and purpose. For others this will be the culmination of inequalities that have built up over a lifetime, remaining in low paid, insecure or poor quality work and delaying retirement through financial necessity.

“The rising state pension age has clearly had an impact on women’s working lives. But while longer lives and changing patterns of work mean many of us can expect to work for longer, it’s vital that people are able to be in work that improves their current and later lives.”

Case studies are available on request

Notes to Editors

The data was provided by the Office of National Statistics in February 2020 and contains bespoke information based on non seasonally adjusted, historical data from the Labour Force Survey.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Aisling Gray
PR Lead, Rest Less
Phone: 07900996065
Email: [email protected]

About Rest Less

Rest Less ( launched in December 2018 and is a membership community for the over 50s designed to help its members get more out of life. Rest Less has thousands of jobs available on its site from progressive age-diverse employers across the country. Rest Less is the leading site in the UK to offer flexible opportunities to work, volunteer or even start a new career path, specifically targeting the rapidly growing over 50s market.


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