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Catch up with the latest press releases from LV=

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More women than men to work past state retirement age

Press release: 28/11/2012

  • 4.1m women over 50 expect to retire later, compared to 2.4m men

  • Number of over-50s planning to work past state retirement age up 43% since 2010

  • Those working past state retirement age will do so for six years on average

  • Those in London expect to work the longest

The number of over-50s expecting to work past the state retirement age has risen to 6.5 million, an increase of 43% on the 4.5 million people planning to do so in 2010. According to the annual Working Late Index from retirement specialist LV=, this group say they will carry on working for an extra 6.2 years on average.

More women than men intend to carry on working later in life, with 4.1 million women over 50 expecting to work past the state retirement age, compared to 2.4 million men. However, men who expect to work past retirement will do so for over a year longer than their female counterparts. With men intending to work 6.9 years past state retirement age on average, versus 5.8 years for women.

Ray Chinn, LV= Head Of Pensions, said: “With the Government increasing the state pension age we would hope that those approaching retirement wouldn’t feel they need to work beyond it. Unfortunately, this is not the case as many find that they have insufficient funds in their pension pots. Although there are many people who feel too young to retire and want to work for as long as they can, our research shows the majority say they will be forced to do so to survive financially.”

Work and the City London is the place where over-50s say they will work furthest past the state retirement age, at an average of 7.4 years. Those in Scotland come a close second, where those who plan to work past state retirement age expect to do so for an additional 7.1 years on average. See table one below for a full regional breakdown.

Not by choice The reasons people are working past retirement age is shifting. The study reveals over half (52%) of working over-50s who expect to work beyond state retirement age cite ‘affordability’ as their main reason. While a third (36%) will stay in work because they enjoy it. This is down from 43% in 2010, highlighting that working past retirement is becoming less of a choice and more driven by necessity.

Back to work
LV=’s working late index also reveals almost 4.3 million over-50s had retired but since returned to work. While some felt too young to retire (32%) and missed working life (30%), others wanted to give something back by working for charity (22%). However, 14% admit that their personal pension wasn’t enough to live on, and nearly one in ten (9%) had to return to work because the state pension wasn’t enough to support them.

One in five of those returning to work from retirement (20%) said they have made a complete career change, and almost one in ten (9%) said they set up a business and are now working for themselves.

Ray Chinn continued: “Regardless of how close people are to retirement, it is essential that saving remains a priority. The earlier in life you can start saving the better, but it’s never too late to make a significant difference to your pension pot. It’s worrying to see that only 13% of those approaching retirement have taken professional advice about their options, and almost half (48%) say they have no intention of doing so before they retire.

“There are many different options available to people at or near retirement, from which type of pension they have their money invested in, to whether they take a lifetime annuity, enhanced annuity, or put their money into drawdown. If someone qualifies for an enhanced annuity they can see their income in retirement rise by up to 30% for instance. People should seek professional advice to make sure they are getting the most out of the money they have saved for retirement.”


Number of years on average working past state retirement age

North East


North West


Yorkshire & Humberside


East Midlands


West Midlands


East of England




South East


South west






Northern Ireland


National average


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Notes to editor:

20% of 21,905,000 = 4,335,000, rounded to 4.3 million

About LV=
LV= employs over 5500 people and serves around five million customers with a range of financial products. We are the UK’s largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.

When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products.

We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs and brokers, and through strategic partnerships with organisations such as ASDA, Nationwide Building Society and a range of trades unions.

LVFS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, register number 110035. LVFS is a member of the ABI, the AFM and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.