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October 18, 2019
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Living Longer After Retirement Presents Challenges for Society: UK Report

LONDON: The number of years people in Britain live after they retire from work is presenting challenges for society as well as for the government, a report compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed Tuesday.

Figures show that in 2018 men on average live for 15 years after they retire from work. The respective figure for women is 19 years.

Britain’s older population, says ONS, is growing more rapidly than its working age population. At the same time, the age at which people leave the labour force has not kept pace with increases seen in average life expectancy.

Looking forward, ONS said projections show that by 2066, one in four people in Britain will be aged 65 and over.

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Sarah Crofts from the ONS Center for Ageing and Demography said: “In the 1960s there was very little difference between life expectancy and the ages at which people finished working, particularly for men.

“Now, on average, men can expect to live around 15 years and women can expect to live around 20 years after they stop working. Living longer means that the population aged 65 and over is growing faster than the working age population aged 16 to 64.”

Crofts said that within the older working-age population, there are 866,000 potential workers aged 50 to 64 who would like to work but can’t, with ill health the main barrier preventing just over a third from working.

Additionally, half of the people in that age group have at least one living parent and just under half have a grandchild, so caring for others is likely to be a barrier for some.

“Workers in their 50s and early 60s are more likely than any other age group to be juggling caring responsibilities and working,” Crofts added.


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Given the ageing workforce and scale of labour early exit from the labour market, the report noted, the future UK economy is likely to face significant challenges in areas such as the financing of state pension provision and maintaining the supply of labour. Individuals may also need to consider working until later in life to ensure adequate retirement income.

Given the ageing workforce and scale of labour early exit from the labour market, the report noted, the future UK economy is likely to face significant challenges in areas such as the financing of state pension provision and maintaining the supply of labour. Individuals may also need to consider working until later in life to ensure adequate retirement income.

ONS said that if the employment rate of people aged 50 to 64 matched that of workers aged 35 to 49, it would add more than five per cent, or 88 billion pounds (111 billion U.S. dollars), to Britain’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Although increasing numbers of people are working at older ages, hundreds of thousands below state pension age would like to work but can’t. People who want to work in this age group are referred to as the ‘missing million’, added the ONS.