Over 50s in work set to hit record high by 2030 as state pension age rises

State pension age is ‘likely to increase’ in the future says expert

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The proportion of over 50s in retirement has increased by 36 percent in the absolute number over the last two decades, research has shown. A study undertaken by Legal and General Retail Retirement and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) tracked employment amongst older people. It found the number of people over 50 and in work has increased from 31 percent in 1992 to 42 percent in 2020.

Although the percentage of working individuals under 50 has remained fairly consistent during this time, the over 50s group has continued to grow.

One of the reasons which could spark the change is an increase to the state pension age, which has risen to 66.

This is not the end of changes, though, as it is expected the age will reach 67 by 2028, and could rise again to 68 between 2044 and 2046.

However, even with the option to leave the labour market when reaching state pension age, many people are continuing to work past the milestone.

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employment over 50s pension

Employment: Over 50s in work set to hit record high by 2030 as state pension age rises (Image: Getty)

Some eight percent of people over 66 are currently recorded as in work.

Those who are say they put in an average of 26 hours per week. 

And according to the report’s forecasting, the number is set to increase by 2030, to a record 11 percent – an estimated 948,000 people.

If the state pension age increases in the coming years, this percentage could also climb higher.

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Increasing levels of employment, then, could be attributed to a gradual shift in wealth observable over time.

Over 50s as a group, the report states, hold the majority of UK wealth in the form of cash, property, pensions and other assets.

But the percentage has fallen recently for those aged between 50 and 64, with the share decreasing from 42 percent in 2008 to 2010, to only 36 percent a decade down the line.

Older people may therefore wish to work for longer in order to build up more money for the retirement they long for. 

employment state pension age

Employment: Although state pension age is rising, many people stay in work beyond this age (Image: EXPRESS)

Andrew Kail, CEO at Legal and General Retail Retirement, commented on the matter.

He said: “Our research demonstrates a significant cultural shift in the world of work.

“People are continuing to work for longer, in order to reach their desired retirement lifestyle but also in response to changes in wealth, state pension provision and to reflect the fact that we are living longer as a society. 

“This creates a much more challenging hurdle for people to overcome in order to fully retire.

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“Gone are the days of ‘carriage-clock retirement’ and we need to make sure people understand the implications so that they can better plan for their future and the extent to which work will play a role in it.

“For those worried about their finances and the implication it has on when they might retire, it is better to be aware of the options available than bury your head in the sand.”

Individuals looking towards retirement are always urged to consider this with enough time to plan ahead.

Some may even wish to speak to a financial adviser, use online information sources or listen to podcasts to build up their knowledge.

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