Increaing numbers work beyond pensionable age

More than one million people are working beyond the official retirement age, according to government figures.

Labour market statistics, February 2007 published by the Office for National Statistics show that, in the three months to December 2006, 11% of those over the official retirement ages of 60 years for women and 65 years for men were still in employment. In total, 1.2m people of pensionable age remain in employment, which is a rise of 7.8% on last year.

The increase in the number of men of a pensionable age in employment was up 5.2% from last year while the increase was particularly significant for women of a pensionable age still in employment, which was up 9.2%from last year. The results showed that 803,000 women over 60 were still working.

Factors such as shrinking pensions provision and people living longer are thought to have contributed to the rise.

The total†number of people in employment was 29.04 million, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1971. This is up 51,000 over the quarter and up 278,000 over the year.

Keith Frost, business manager of the Age and Employment Network, said: "The continuing rise in the number of people over state pension age in work is one of those good news/bad news stories. It’s good news that more people are being given the opportunity to go on working if they want to. The employment rate for state pensioners has now reached 11%.

"The bad news is that in many instances it’s clearly a reaction to inadequate pension provision – both state and private – and the higher levels of inflation experienced by those over state pension age which recent reports have highlighted."