One in Three (34%) People in the UK Plan to Work Beyond Their State Pension Age. Two in five (40%) of them say it’s because they can’t afford to retire.
- 37% of Millennials (18-34 year olds) said they planned to work beyond their state pension age compared with 33% of over 55s
- 38% of men said they plan to work beyond their state pension age compared with 30% of women
- One in ten people said they planned to work full time compared with 24% planning to work part-time
- 44% of those in the South East intend to work beyond their state pension age
One in three people in the UK (34%) said that they intended to work either full time or part-time beyond their state pension age, according to new research issued today by Rest Less (restless.co.uk), the largest membership community site in the UK to offer flexible work and volunteering opportunities specifically targeted at the over 50s.
At a time when the state pension age is rising from 65 to 66 by October 2020, 67 by March 2028 and 68 by April 2046, a national representative sample of 2,000 people* were asked if they planned to work beyond retirement and if so, the reasons why.
One in two (51%) of those who said they planned to work beyond their state pension age said it was because they wanted to (for physical and mental health reasons, to keep busy, to meet new people, learn new skills, for example) but a worrying 40 percent of respondents said they planned to continue to work because they didn’t think they could afford not to. This figure rose to 51 percent amongst 35 to 44 year olds and 52 percent amongst those living in the East of England.
Stuart Lewis, founder of Rest Less, commented:
“Our population is ageing and we can all look forward to longer, more active working lives. The health and wellbeing benefits of continuing to work into retirement are well documented and it’s encouraging to see a large proportion of the population planning to continue working in a full or part time role. The depressing fact is that for 40 percent of those planning to work beyond the state pension age, it’s not out of a lifestyle choice, but simply because they cannot afford to retire.
‘Meanwhile, many employees over the age of 50 continue to feel shut out of the workforce*, often being told they have ‘too much experience’. Given generational lows in the unemployment rate, it is surprising not to see more employers embrace the opportunity presented by this talented and flexible workforce. Rest Less has been set up to help talented workers find fulfilling opportunities to work or for the more adventurous, try out something completely new.”
There was a stark contrast in the responses of men and women: 57 percent of men said they planned to continue working because they wanted to, compared with 44 percent of women. In contrast, just 35 percent of men said they didn’t think they couldn’t afford to stop working when they reached the state pension age, compared with 45 percent of women.
Respondents were also asked if they planned to work in a volunteering role after reaching state pension age. Whilst one in four said they planned to do so (27%), there was an interesting difference between men and women: one in three women (31%) said they planned to volunteer compared with 22 percent of men.
Table 1: A Regional View: Respondents Who Said They Planned to Work Beyond Their State Pension Age
|% who said they planned to work full-time||% who said they planned to work part-time||% who said it’s because they wanted to||% who said it’s because they needed to||% who said they planned to work in a volunteering role|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||11||24||40||45||27|
|East of England||14||22||31||52||27|
Case Study of A Part-Time Worker Beyond State Pension Age
Maura Ward, 69, spent decades working as an Education Welfare Officer across schools in County Down, Northern Ireland. She chose to retire just a few months ago after working part-time in the same role for the past two years.
Maura said “There was no way I could have afforded to retire on my state pension and maintain the lifestyle that I wanted to lead, travelling the world and regularly visiting my children and grandchildren who live in Bangkok and London. I consider myself 69 years young – I didn’t need to give up work for health reasons so after I passed my state pension age, I continued to top up my retirement pot by moving to part-time work in exactly the same role.
‘Whilst now I’m officially retired, I write a travel blog which brings in some extra pocket money – which also helps to fuel my travel plans! Years ago I volunteered at my local Samaritans office and this is something that I absolutely intend to return to at some stage during my retirement too.”
1ONS Population Overview: ‘In 1997, around one in every six people (15.9%) were aged 65 years and over, increasing to one in every five people (18.2%) in 2017 and is projected to reach around one in every four people (24%) by 2037.’
Notes to Editors
*The research was conducted by YouGov amongst a national representative sample of 2,017 GB adults between 25 and 28 January 2019
*In July 2018, the Women and Equalities Committee said that over one million over 50s were locked out of the workforce due to age discrimination https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmwomeq/359/359.pdf