Working 9 to 5 – BLOG – Adrian Firth

January 1, 2023 11:29 am

More over 65’s are still working than six years ago

More people in the UK aged between 65 and 74 are still working compared to six years ago, new
research shows[1]. The findings show there’s a marked increase in the number of people over 65
who remain in the workforce compared to 2016, and a fall in the number drawing their State

At a time of rising cost of living pressures, the data shows fewer people across all age groups
eligible to retire have done so compared to six years ago. The greatest shift has been for those
aged between 65 and 74. Whereas 92% of this age group were already retired in 2016, only 79%
are now.

Disproportionately impacted

This is due to increases in the State Pension age, which was raised from 65 to 66 between
December 2018 and October 2020 – and is set to rise further in future. The increase has
disproportionately impacted 65 to 74-year-olds, who have been directly affected by this change in
the last six years.

In 2016, 96% of people in this age range said the State Pension accounted for some of their
income, compared with 71% now. This represents a 25% decrease in the proportion of people in
this age bracket receiving part of their income from the State Pension.

Alternative sources of income

As the State Pension Age continues to rise, this age group will need to plan to find alternative
sources of income. The research results show the gap is only partially being plugged by people
continuing to work for longer.

There has only been a small rise in those saying wages or other earned income constitute a
portion of their overall income – 23% versus 18% in 2016. For a fifth of people in this age bracket,
an income gap left by State Pension deferral has not been replaced by wages.

Running out of retirement money

In the UK, the 65 to 74 age group is larger than ever before, according to the 2021 Census
statistics[2]. People between those ages now account for almost 19% of the UK population,
compared with 16% a decade ago.

For those over 65, money worries about retirement figure more prominently than six years ago. In
2016, only 1% of this cohort said they were worried about running out of money in retirement, while
another 1% said they wouldn’t have enough money to fulfil plans and dreams such as travelling.
Six years on, the proportion has risen substantially to 11% for both.

Amount of capital held in property

One asset that has grown for this age group, however, is the amount of capital they hold in
property. Sixty-five to 74-year-olds have, on average, lived in their current house for 24 years,
which means they have benefitted from nearly all the property price increases that have occurred
since the late 1990s, when the current property boom began.

In 1998, when this age group typically bought their current house, the average cost of property in
the UK was £66,231[3]. The research results show this age group’s property is now worth on
average £302,000, more than four times the original purchase price.

Planning for a comfortable retirement

Nearly two-thirds of them own their property outright. Typically, those who do have been in tenure
six years longer than those with a mortgage.

This suggests people may have accumulated more wealth in this asset than they realise. As cost of
living pressures ramp up, the equity in people’s homes could become increasingly important when
looking at ways to plan for a comfortable retirement.

Source data:
[1] Aviva Real Retirement Report conducted by ICM Unlimited April 2016. 1,506 general
consumers aged 45+ Research conducted by Censuswide April 2022.
[2] 2021 National Census figures released by ONS
[3] HMLR’s UK House Price Index.

Adrian Firth