Record number of over-50s in employment

Over-50s are making their largest contribution to the UK workforce since records began, according to new analysis by Aviva.

The new figures, based on Office for National Statistics data and Aviva’s own Real Retirement research, show that 302 in every 1,000 adults employed in Q1 2015 were aged over 50. This is a 42% increase from 1992, when 213 in every 1,000 were over-50.

The scrapping of the Default Retirement Age on 1 October 2011 meant that employers are no longer able to force their staff to retire at 65 based on their age alone.

The analysis also suggests that the growth in over-50s employment has contributed to a rise in people’s financial health. Median monthly incomes have risen 26% to £1,376 in Q2 2015 compared to Q3 2011. The average credit card debt (15%), personal loans (25%) and overdraft debt (40%) has also fallen for over-55s.

Employment among over-65s is also up by 33% since 2011, with many choosing to volunteer after their retirement. 
Clive Bolton, managing director of retirement solutions at Aviva UK Life, said:

“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 the UK employment since the recession.

“At the same time, there are other motives at play beyond the appeal of a monthly salary. Many careers used to have a clear cut-off point, but the appeal of paid or voluntary activity during ‘retirement’ shows the lines are now well and truly blurred, as people seek out ways to stay physically active and mentally fulfilled.”