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UK – Working beyond pension age has doubled, ONS says

13 June 2012

The number of those working beyond state pension age has almost doubled from 753,000 in 1993 to 1.4 million in 2011, a new report by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) said today. The proportion of the older population who are in employment also rose, but not at the same pace as the number of older workers, which increased from 7.6% to 12.0% in the same period.

The figures show two trends as more older workers are self-employed or work part-time. Around a third (32%) of workers aged above state pension age were self-employed in the last quarter of 2011,  compared with just 13% of those below that age. Also, workers over state pension age were twice as likely to be working part-time (66%) than full-time (34%).

The statistics also indicate that the majority (61%) of older workers in that quarter were women, mainly employed in lower skilled jobs while men were usually found in jobs classed as higher skilled, including property managers, marketing and sales directors, production managers and CEOs.

On a regional basis, older workers had the joint highest percentage in employment in London and the South East suggesting that higher cost of living in London might be an incentive for older workers to work on rather than move into retirement. 

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