Availability of part-time hours is one key factor driving the increasing number of over 70’s still in work.
Record numbers of over 70s are continuing to work, including over 50,000 over 80’s, with availability of part-time work a big factor and the desire to top up pensions, according to a new analysis from Rest Less.
The analysis of Office for National Statistics figures by over 50’s membership organisation Rest Less found that the number of over 70’s in full or part-time employment has been steadily rising year on year over the past 10 years, reaching a peak of 497,946 in the first quarter of this year – an increase of 286,000 or 135 per cent since 2009.
Today, nearly one in 12 (8.1%) of those in their 70s are working, a significant increase from the one in 22 (4.5%) 10 years ago.
The analysis also shows that:
Stuart Lewis, Founder of Rest Less, commented: “Whilst we know that the over 50’s in general 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 70’s in the workplace.
“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 70’s both male and female.
“With generational lows in the unemployment rate, the over 50s offer a talented, and up to now largely untapped opportunity to many employers who are struggling to fill a skills and employment gap.”
In addition to the availability of part-time work, he said factors included the decline in ‘gold-plated’ pensions, ever-increasing life expectancy and 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.
Lily Parsey from the International Longevity Centre, added: “To maximise the longevity dividend of our ageing society, we need to provide more opportunities for flexible working to allow people to juggle work with health and care needs or caring responsibilities. We need to ensure people of all ages are included in life-long learning opportunities. And we need to create inclusive and supportive workplaces, to ensure that we all can benefit from the benefits longevity can yield.”