Aviva, the giant insurance company, has come up with some show-stopping numbers showing the strongest impact ever by UK 50+ workers. Almost a third of UK adults employed during the first and second quarters of 2015 were 50+.
The total number of the 50-64s in work in the second quarter of 2015 reached a new high – 8.24 million.
Admittedly this leap is partly explained by the fact that the baby boomer generation are now all aged over 50, and that people are generally living longer.
The big increase has also been helped by the abolition of the Default Retirement Age (DRA) from October 2011, which meant employers could no longer make staff retire at 65 on age alone.
Since then, employment for the over-65s has also grown significantly, by a third – from 2011’s third quarter (the final quarter before the DRA ended), to the second quarter of 2015.
This leap of 33 per cent achieved by the over-65s is the fastest increase in work growth of all age groups for the period. In contrast, the total number of working adults across all ages rose only six per cent.
The second fastest growth rate (11 per cent) was among 50-64s, which suggests the number of those working over 65 will continue to rise.
Of the 1.76 million extra working adults in work in the second quarter 2015 (compared with Q3, 2011), 45 per cent were aged 55 to 64, and a further 16 per cent were aged 65+.
Aviva produced this employment research with National Office of Statistics market figures. It has also tracked personal finances among the 55+ since 2010. It suggests this period of growing employment for 55+ has meant an improvement in many older people’s finances.
Median monthly incomes have risen 26 per cent, while typical saving and investment pots have more than doubled in that time from £7,969 to £17,590.
Average personal loans have reduced 25 per cent from £677 to £509; and average overdrafts have dropped 40 per cent from £157 to £94.
Aviva’s data indicates that work has become more important to older people’s sense of financial security, particularly among the 55-64 age group who are approaching the former DRA.
Five per cent saw retirement as a threat to their living standards in Q3 2011, but this had more than doubled to 11 per cent by Q2 2015.
From the stats to the soul ….
Aviva found that the appeal of paid or voluntary work in retirement grows, as people near the end of their working lives. While 13 per cent of 55+ not near to retiring want work or volunteer in retirement, this jumps to 19 per cent among those near retiring.
While budgeting money is the most difficult aspect of retirement among those who have retired, say 23 per cent, 22 per cent say establishing a new routine without the structure of work is the hardest thing.
One in ten say actually stopping work is the hardest part of retiring, while seven per cent have the most difficulty finding a meaningful, worthwhile replacement for work.
Finally, Clive Bolton, managing director of Retirement Solutions at Aviva UK Life, commented:
“With more over 50s in the workforce and with people living longer, it’s important that employers really consider how to get the most out of their more experienced employees.
“There is no mistaking the fact that the over-50s have been a major contributor in the growth of UK employment since the recession.
“Four years on from the end of the DRA, many people’s careers have been extended into what past generations would once have considered uncharted territory.”
Aviva’s research suggests that many thousands of 50+ in work want to stay in it for a goodly time, and if these strong statistics are anything to go by, the future looks bright for their sorts of jobs being available.
Don’t wind down from the late 50s, wind up!