Money Wellness
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calendar icon08 May 2024

Growing number of over-65s can’t afford to retire

Charities are warning that a growing number of pensioners in the UK are unable to retire due to the high cost of living.

Figures from the Centre for Ageing Better show the number of people working full time over the age of 65 has increased from 25% in 2000 to 34% in 2023.

Senior research and policy manager for work Luke Price told People Management:

“There are indications that some people are feeling forced to continue working longer than they originally intended, or even returning to work after retirement, because they cannot get by on their current pension and savings.”

Conversely, but equally as problematic, some people find they don’t have the option to keep working to boost their income. Price explained:

“Far too many people are finding they are dropping out of work in their 50s and 60s because the ageist labour market cannot see the value they still have to offer or their health is no longer good enough to continue.

“This then leads to difficult times for many as they await state pension eligibility and diminished savings when they eventually reach state pension age.”

The stats

Research from Senior Capital backs up Price’s claims. It shows

  • 32% of people haven’t been able to make pension contributions due to the high cost of living
  • 25% say worrying about how they will fund their retirement is the biggest strain on their mental health
  • 21% have delayed their retirement due to money worries

Retirement plans shaken

Caroline Abrahams from Age UK told People Management:

“We know that many older people, especially those on low fixed incomes, have been truly shaken by the material and psychological impact of the last two years of high inflation.”

She is calling for:

  • more financial support for older people approaching retirement age who can’t work but aren’t yet eligible for the state pension
  • increased access to training and flexible working for those keen to continue working later in life

She insisted, as well as helping older people, such policies would also boost the economy.

Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.

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