The number of women working into their 70’s and above has doubled in the past four years, according to official data.
The Office for National Statistics report highlights the number of women retiring after turning 70 has increased from 5.6 per cent in 2012 to 11.3 per cent in 2016.
The results will be welcomed by government, who are prompting people to retire later in life, and is encouraging employers to hire older staff.
However, research shows that many employees are being forced to work into their 70’s due to having an inadequate pension, or women not qualifying for the full amount. This is due to gaps in their national insurance records from maternity leave or other reasons.
The data also revealed that 15.5 per cent of men are still working at the age of 70, a rise of 10 per cent in 2012.
Labour’s Frank Field said women were £40,000 out of pocket because of unfair changes to the state pension age.He claimed that women born in the 1950s have been “grotesquely disadvantaged” by the changes.
Nathan Long, senior pension analyst at FTSE 100 investment firm Hargreaves Lansdown, who analysed the data, said;
“This jump in those leaving work over 70 may simply be through individual choice; workers should be encouraged to work as late in life as they are able and feel is desirable.”
“However it is also a reflection of the increasing strain on the pension system. The best days of well-funded early retirement are behind us. The risk to employers is of a workforce trapped in jobs they don’t want to do, which will inevitably impact on productivity.”
“The increase in the number of people working over 70 is predominately because they want to work later, not because they need to. But we do expect that to shift rapidly as final salary pension schemes are phased out, and more people come to retirement underfunded.”