Men and women retiring later


Workers are delaying their retirement and staying in paid employment for longer.

Retirement figures show that both sexes are opting to give up work later.

The average age that men and women choose to retire has risen over the years, according to figures revealed by the Office for National Statistics.

Between 2004 and 2009 the average age at which men stopped working rose from 63.8 years to 64.5. During the same period the average retirement age of women increased from 61.2 to 62 years.

Experts are predicting that the figures will continue to rise especially as the state pension age is scheduled to increase to 66 for both men and women by 2020.

The default retirement age will also be scrapped this October, which will prevent employers from automatically forcing their older workers into retirement once they reach the age of 65.

Sarah Levy, head of the ONS pensions analysis unit, said: “Retirement is difficult to measure using surveys because when older people become economically inactive they may give different reasons for the change, even though their situations are similar. ONS uses an indicator known as ‘average age of withdrawal from the labour market. This indicator… will be important to watch in coming years as state pension age rises”.

The ONS also found that although the number of people working beyond retirement age has risen, the majority are in part-time employment rather than full-time roles. Many of them have also found positions in spite of the recession.

The employment rate for men aged 65 or over increased to 11.7% in September to November 2010 from 10.7% in April to June 2008. The rate for women in the same age range also rose from 12.3% to 13.5%.