More than a third of over 55s plan to continue working past what would previously have been considered their retirement age of 65, according to research by Scottish Widows.
A further 45 per cent of this age group are unsure or are yet to make plans for later life, suggesting fewer people are choosing linear career paths and traditional approaches to retirement.
The report was based on both quantitative and qualitative inputs, including a nationally representative YouGov survey of 2,000 adults, a further YouGov survey of 500 business leaders spread across all sizes of employer, plus interviews and a series of focus group sessions.
The number of over 65s choosing to continue to work has risen 26 per cent to 1.1m since the abolition of the default retirement age in October 2011, and despite the difficulties facing many ‘pretirees’, a growing number of older workers are taking the legislative change as an opportunity to continue working for their own wellbeing.
Around 54 per cent of those who choose to stay in employment said that they do not feel ‘old’ enough to retire, while 24 per cent want to keep working because they enjoy their job.
The study highlighted that one in five men and one in 10 women cited improvements in family relationships as a result of spending more time independently.
Almost a fifth admitted that they will continue to work in order to support their family financially, yet 17 per cent felt their ability to do their job was impacted because they are tired and stressed from balancing work and family life.
Some 44 per cent of over 55s who plan to continue working also said they will need to do so in order to supplement their pension, with a further 13 per cent still having debt or a mortgage to pay off. Almost a quarter (23 per cent) said they have spent their savings or contribute less to savings now (24 per cent) as a result of living costs in the last year.
Jackie Leiper, director of employer relationships at Lloyds Banking Group, said that a “more diverse and flexible” workforce brings significant potential to increase productivity and competitiveness as a nation.
“However, we will only make it a success if we fully support employees finding the right balance between work and family commitments later on in their working lives.”
Yesterday, the latest Office for National Statistics data revealed that mortality rates have improved in all age groups, but more recently at a faster rate in the older age groups. In 2012–2014, a man in the UK aged 65 had an average further 18.4 years of life remaining and a woman had an average further 20.9 years of life remaining.