Record Rise In Employment Among Over 65s Suggests A Social Revolution Is Underway
by Dr. Ros Altmann
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Good news and bad news:
Good news that people are rethinking retirement, recognising they are not ‘past it’ at 65.
Bad news for some, however, is that their pensions are so inadequate they cannot retire – QE has caused significant damage to pensions so they have to keep working.
Dr Ros Altmann, Director-General of Saga, comments on the ONS Labour statistics showing the highest ever employment rate amongst over 65s. Over 65s employment has risen by 102,000 since last quarter – an increase of 11.6%:
“In many ways, it is great news to see such a significant increase in the number of over 65s in employment. Many older people are increasingly choosing to stay at work, often part-time so that they ease more gently into retirement. If they feel fit and healthy and want more money, and are able to work, they are choosing to do so. They would usually choose part-time work, so that retirement becomes a gradual process, rather than a sudden one-off event and they can have a better work-life balance, with more income to see them through their later years and more chance to save for old age.
“There are however other factors to consider for the increase in older workers – of course there are many more people now aged over 65 but also those coming up to retirement may be finding their private or state pensions are not as good as they had hoped – meaning they have to stay at work if they want a reasonable income. This may be especially true for women who may have returned back to work from taking time off and have very little pension provision.
“Generally though these figures should be seen as a indicator that we are redefining retirement. By encouraging the opportunities of working longer, we can ensure older people contribute to economic growth and generate an income for themselves while making retirement more fulfilling.”
“By keeping more over 65s economically active, we will be improving the medium term job prospects for the economy, since millions of older people pulling out of the labour force with inadequate pensions would leave less money to spend on leisure, services and consumption which ultimately means fewer jobs and lower growth. A social revolution seems underway, the more who embrace these opportunities, the better for all of us.”