More women than men face working past retirement age

The number of over-50s expecting to work past the state retirement age has risen to 6.5 million, an increase of 43 per cent in just the last two years.

According to the annual Working Late Index from retirement specialist LV=, this group say they will carry on working, on average, for an extra 6.2 years.

More women than men intend to carry on working later in life, with 4.1 million women over 50 expecting to work past the state retirement age, compared to 2.4 million men.

However, men who expect to work past retirement will do so for over a year longer than their female counterparts. With men intending to work 6.9 years past state retirement age on average, versus 5.8 years for women.

Ray Chinn, LV= head Of pensions, said: “With the government increasing the state pension age we would hope that those approaching retirement wouldn’t feel they need to work beyond it.

“Unfortunately, this is not the case as many find that they have insufficient funds in their pension pots. Although there are many people who feel too young to retire and want to work for as long as they can, our research shows the majority say they will be forced to do so to survive financially.”

The reasons people are working past retirement age is shifting. The study reveals over half (52 per cent) of working over-50s who expect to work beyond state retirement age cite ‘affordability’ as their main reason.

A third will stay in work because they enjoy it, but this is down from 43 per cent in 2010, highlighting that working past retirement is becoming less of a choice and more driven by necessity.

LV=’s index also reveals almost 4.3 million over-50s had retired but since returned to work. While some felt too young to retire and missed working life, others wanted to give something back by working for charity.

However, 14 per cent admit that their personal pension wasn’t enough to live on, and nearly one in ten had to return to work because the state pension wasn’t enough to support them.

One in five of those returning to work from retirement said they have made a complete career change, and almost one in ten said they set up a business and are now working for themselves.

Ray Chinn said: “Regardless of how close people are to retirement, it is essential that saving remains a priority.

“The earlier in life you can start saving the better, but it’s never too late to make a significant difference to your pension pot. It’s worrying to see that only 13 per cent of those approaching retirement have taken professional advice about their options, and almost half say they have no intention of doing so before they retire.”