More pensioners working past 65

It is hardly a surprise but Government figures have shown that the number of people working past state pension age has nearly doubled in past 20 years

The number of older workers has gone from 753,000 in 1993 to 1.4 million in 2011, according to a new report from the Office for National Statistics.

Over that time, the numbers were relatively stable until 2000 but then rose quickly to a peak of 1.45 million in 2010. The proportion of the older population who are in employment also rose from 7.6 per cent in 1993 to 12.0 per cent in 2011.

A high proportion of these older workers were self-employed: in the last quarter of 2011, 32 per cent of workers aged above state pension age were self-employed, compared with just 13 per cent of those below that age.

Also, workers over state pension age were twice as likely to be working part-time (66 per cent) than full-time (34 per cent). For those under state pension age, 75 per cent worked full-time and the remaining 25 per cent worked part-time.

Of the 1.4 million older workers above state pension age in the UK in the final quarter of 2011, 39 per cent were men and 61 per cent were women.

However, around two-thirds of these men worked in jobs classed as higher skilled, but almost two-thirds of these women worked in lower skilled jobs.

Most Read

The higher skilled roles that men carried out included those such as property managers, marketing and sales directors, production managers and chief executives of organisations. Of all the jobs carried out by men, the two most common were farmers and taxi drivers. Looking at women, the most common job was cleaners, followed by administration assistants, care workers and retail assistants.

Looking at the period October 2010-September 2011, the South East, South West and East of England had the highest employment rates for workers below state pension age. The pattern was similar for older workers, but with one exception – London. For the younger population, London only ranked eighth in terms of the employment rate, but for older people it had the joint highest percentage in employment of any part of the country, behind the South East, at 14.1 per cent. This may reflect the higher cost of living in London, which might provide an incentive for older workers to work on rather than retire.