Almost a third of workers believe they could be fit enough to work into their 70s, past the age they can start claiming state pension, according to research.
Global insurer AIG’s study of 3,000 UK adults found workers expected to be physically capable of doing their jobs until past age 68, beyond the age they could start claiming the state pension even when it is extended to 67 by 2028.
One in 14 people were even confident they could work into their 80s, the research found.
On average workers believe they can work until 68 but the average age among men was 69, while for women it was slightly lower at 67.
The study also found the older people were, the longer they thought they would be healthy enough for work. Those over 55 expected to be able to keep going to nearly 73 compared to around 66 for those under 35.
Donald MacLean, chief financial officer at AIG Life, said: "Retirement has changed massively in recent years as improvements in life expectancy and health plus changes in the law mean millions are living longer and can work longer if they want to.
"It is interesting those closest to hitting retirement, the over-55s, are the most confident in retiring later and feel healthy enough on average to keep working into their early 70s."
According to AIG almost half (47 per cent) of people believed the current average of 21 years spent in retirement was the right amount of time to spend not working. But 14 per cent believed 21 years was too long while a quarter said that it is not long enough.
On average people expected to live until 82 and to be active until around 77 years of age. One in five were more optimistic and said that they expected to live past 90.
Retirement will be too short (%)
Retirement will be too long (%)
How long can you work to?
Yorkshire & The Humber
East of England
Source: AIG Life
Due to people expecting to live and work longer, people must be more proactive in planning for the future financially, said AIG.
Mr MacLean said: "Children born today can in many cases expect to live to see their 100th birthday which means people need to consider how they will protect themselves and their families financially in the years to come in case their plans are disrupted by illness.
“Many of us may want to stop work as early as we can while others will be happy to keep working as long as they are physically able to.
“It is clear that we all need to think about what we want, what might happen along the way that could derail that and take practical steps to plan for the future as early as possible. Whatever the future we want.”
The state pension age is due to be increased to 66 next year for men and women. It’ll then increase to 67 between 2026 and 2028 and then to 68 from 2037.
Analysis of data from the Department for Work and Pensions released on May 14 by pension provider Just Group found fewer people were deferring their state pension than at any time in the past 20 years.