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‘Work till you drop’ is already becoming a reality for many older people

Half of new retirees to continue working past state pension age, despite £3.5bn in pensioner benefits remaining unclaimed every year.

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The notion of ‘work till you drop‘ appears to be becoming more of a reality for many older people in the UK, as research reveals that more than half of new retirees are considering working past state pension age.

A survey of around 1,000 people by the insurance giant Prudential found that 51% are either already working past state pension age or are actively considering the option as they approach retirement.

Of those considering working past state pension age, 20% are planning to start their own business or turn a hobby into a new money-making venture.

Almost one in ten (9%) plan to continue working in a full-time position with their existing employer.

More than one in four (28%) are considering continuing in a part-time role with their current employer, while 29% say they would consider looking for a new job.

Stan Russell, a retirement income expert at Prudential, said: “Our research has shown that a period of ‘pretirement’, where people choose to delay their retirement plans, change jobs, earn a living from a hobby, or go part-time, instead of giving up work altogether, has become the new norm for retirees in recent times.”

Whilst relative poverty among older people has generally fallen in recent years, these new figures suggest that many people approaching retirement still don’t believe they’ve built up a large enough nest egg to give up working completely.

Indeed, figures published earlier this year suggest that earlier progress in tackling pensioner poverty is going backwards, with 1.9 million pensioners now living below the poverty line – incomes less than £288 per week.

Responding to those statistics, Caroline Abrahams, director at Age UK, said: “Managing on a low, fixed income is really tough, and many people face a daily struggle just to afford the basics.

“That’s why is it so important that every older person who is entitled to claim benefits does so.

“Every day Age UK helps people to claim what they are entitled to, and every day we hear how much of a difference the money makes, how surprised people are by how straightforward the process is with the help of an adviser, and how much less they have to worry about everyday bills.”

Government estimates show that many older people are simply not claiming the benefits they’re entitled to, losing out on an estimated £3.5 billion in unclaimed Pension Credit and Housing Benefit alone.

Abrahams added: “It is shameful that despite millions of older people struggling financially, around £3.5bn in money benefits remains unclaimed every year when this extra income could make a huge difference to their lives.

“We would urge anyone who is worried about their finances, or an older family member or friend, to get in touch with us for free, impartial information and advice.”


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  1. Has anyone actually seen the research that its far better for your physical and mental health to keep working rather than retiring?

    Its good for your health and who doesn’t want that – see the Guardian article which shows the research.

    • So when the Conservatives say that “during the 13 years in which Labour was in power, there was an almost threefold increase in the national debt”, they’re right if you only take the cash amount owed into account. Public sector net debt was £347 billion in 1996/97, the year before Labour came into office, and £1,011 billion in 2009/10, their last financial year in power.
      That’s a cash terms rise of 191% over 13 years, which compares to a 71% rise over seven years with Conservative Chancellors between 2009/10 and 2016/17.

      • Yes, but two key things.

        1) Labour were racking up debt at at well over 300bn/yr in 2010, if Labour had been in power, what was their plan to close the budget deficit and balance the primary budget to stop the debt rising? I’ve not herd an answer to that one.

        Labour STILL doesn’t have an answer to the debt of the budget deficit, it doesn’t even talk about it.

        2) Labour put hundreds of billions in debt onto us in “off balance sheet” transactions for PFI which we are still paying through the nose for.

        You’ll have to do a lot better than that.

  2. while the tories steal your pension you now have to work longer oh dear why doesn’t the peasants arise and rid themselves of these blood suckers jeff3

    • Why don’t you start from a position of actually making the government sums add up? And don’t give me the tax the rich and businesses because the rich will leave to go to a lower tax environment and businesses will either leave the UK or fold.

      The minimum wage increase is a mirage increase the minimum wage by 33% to £10/hr just means everyone’s wages up the pay scale have to go up to maintain the pay differentials and everyone has more money chasing the same goods. As a consequence you just stoke inflation until you have put prices up 33% very quickly and no one is in any way better off.

      Worse than that our borrowing costs will go through the roof, interest rates will have to rise and the servicing of the national debt will go through the roof, leaving us all worse off and likely broke.

      And when the country is broke, its the poor that suffer most.

      So within sensible budget constraints more spending in one area must come from a cut in another, propose your cuts to switch spending onto what you want and don’t just shake the magic money tree.

      • are you tory troll but lets look at labour how it had left the country it had paid back billions bringing the national debt down yet the tories have took us further into debt and sold our silver ware of and they stealing years of pensions I lets look at it your way they stealing our monies away but then with people like you dah

      • I think you’ll find that when the Tories left office in 1997 UK debt to GDP was 38%, when Labour left office in 2010 it was 86% and rising at 17% per annum and a primary budget deficit of 10% or 151bn/Yr.

        So Labour never paid back any money, it borrowed far more and left us (as usual) on the road to rack and ruin.

        The only reason debt has gone up is that the Tories couldn’t cut enough Labour over spending to close the budget gap.

        Still, 3% of 48bn/Yr is still a hell of a lot better than 151bn/yr isn’t it?

  3. Not one word about WASPI women – those of us born in the 1950s who have to wait another 6 years for our state pension, the vast majority of us being given little or no official notice of this change. Is Age UK up to speed on this issue? All very well talking about ‘unclaimed benefits’ – what about being denied a benefit you’ve spent your entire working life paying for?

    • Hi Margaret, I wrote the article. It’s purpose was to raise awareness about how many people are finding it impossible, often for financial reasons, to give up working in later life and enjoy retirement. I’ve written many articles about how women have been denied their pension, often referring to WASPI women. There are some people who don’t want to retire and stop working, and if that is their wish then they should be allowed to do so, but there are many more who simply cannot afford to stop working completely. If you use the search function on this site you’ll find many examples of my articles about WASPI women.

      • Yes I noticed other articles Steven. My point was that this isn’t a separate issue – it is one of the *major* reasons why 3.5 million of us can’t stop working, and as such the issue needed to be included in the article. I’ve also heard, anecdotally, that Age UK are very ill informed about this & women contacting them for advice have ended up having to educate them.


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