For many workers having reached 65, the raising of the retirement age seems to have come early. 823,000 people over 65 in the UK are now working.


The Telegraph reports that this figure was reached after a surge if 40,000 retirees returning to work over the last three months.

Although many may have been forced to work beyond 65 due to their financial position, many may well be doing so for reasons of personal fulfilment or just for something to do. After all, the garden can only take so much tending.

The government is being forced to look at accelerating the pace at which the state pension retirement is age increased. They are also looking to scrap the default retirement age that allows employers to let workers go automatically when they reach it, even if they want to stay and work.

But while we tinker at the top end there are many young people who cannot find work. Especially amongst graduates who find themselves over-qualified academically and under qualified experience-wise.

According to the Telegraph report, Hargreaves Lansdowne puts a figure on the average private sector pension of just £2,145 per year. With the state pension of just over £5,000 the resulting £7,000 and a bit is not much to live on in today’s economy. And it’s not like that will be for a few years. The retiree must plan to live on that for possibly decades.

Figures from Aviva show that 12% of those between 65 and 74 also have a mortgage, the average owing being nearly £60,000. Sounds a bit worrying on the face of it but many of these could be of the perfectly acceptable equity release type where the borrower doesn’t pay it back until the house is sold once they no longer needed it.

By all accounts unemployment looks set to rise, but pensioners are staying on and some of the young are left out in the cold. We have to accept that at some point new blood has to replace old, but it is getting the balance right. One question, just because someone likes their job does it give them the right to stay in it as long as they like even if the strategic aims of the company (and society) are not being met by being unable to take on new people? With jobs being scarce maybe those of state pension age should have to prove the financial need to work or employers prove they need that particular person to work for them before being allowed to take paid work.

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