ONS statistics: Average age of retirement has increased

Figures released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics show that people are working longer than they used to, with the average retirement age going up from 63.8 years to 64.6 years for men and from 61.2 years to 62.3 years for women between 2004 and 2010.

The figures also show that the peak ages for leaving the labour market are 64 to 66 years, while for women the peak ages 59 to 62 years, meaning that retirement peaks around the state pension age.

People are working longer because of inadequate savings and pensions, according to the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF).

Joanne Segers, NAPF chief executive, said: “We are all living longer so it is logical that we will have to spend more time at work. These figures show that clocking on for longer is becoming part of our way of thinking. But that doesn’t mean the end of retirement. People should not have to work until they drop.

“Some people are choosing to work longer, but more and more find themselves stuck at work because their savings and pension are inadequate. They get a shock when they find they have to keep working while their friends retire.

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“The key problem is that our society isn’t putting enough aside for its older age. We need to get more people saving for their retirement, and to encourage them to start as early as possible. The state pension is also in need of urgent reform, and we need a much simpler and more generous system.”

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