Older people in work – a record

The number of people aged over 65 and still in work topped a million for the first time in April, with these older workers now accounting for nearly 10% of the nation’s workforce.

The Office of National Statistics says one reason is that people of this age account for a rising share of the population, a simple consequence of the post-War baby boom. More importantly, in 2011 the law changed and now bans employers from setting a default retirement age, so people can choose to work longer if they wish.

Already, over 60% of the older people in work are women, and with state pension age for women rising to equalise with men at 66 in 2020, that is unlikely to change. Forward-thinking employers like Marks & Spencer, B&Q and Centrica are already encouraging older workers.