Press release


Thursday 16 February 2012

The labour market is changing for the over 50s. Women are increasingly staying in work and both men and women are working longer, with increasing numbers of people also managing to work part-time.



Average retirement age has risen by 9 ½ months for men and 13 months for women from 2004-2010
Dr Ros Altmann, Director General, Saga said: “The average age of retirement, as shown in the latest ONS pension trends report, has risen from 63.8  in 2004 to 64.6 in 2012 (a rise of  around 9 ½ months), while the average retirement age for women has increased during the same period from 61.2 to 62.3 ( a rise of over 13 months).  The first thing I have focussed on with these stats is the fact that older women are more engaged in the labour market than the traditional stereotype would suggest and also that more men and women are staying on after state pension age.  It is particularly encouraging that many of them are able to work part-time, which is what most of them say they prefer.  In fact, I think this could be the start of a social revolution, with people working longer, but part-time.
“A social revolution seems well underway and traditional stereotypes are being overturned.”

Older workers are staying on in the labour market after state pension age in record numbers - and many are managing to work part-time, which is often the ideal for them. 
“All Saga's surveys have shown that people prefer to work part-time in later life, rather than working full time, or not working at all.  The table below of the latest ONS trends shows that 71% of men and 70.6% of women between age 50 and state pension age are employed.   Women are now just as likely as men to be employed between ages 50 and state pension age.
“When it comes to working on after state pension age, the second table below shows that in fact, more women than men keep working - it is 12.5% of women and 11.9% of men.  Of course, women's pension age is lower than men's but the trends are clear - older women are increasingly involved in the labour market.  The majority of those over state pension age who are still in work are managing to work part-time, which is a very healthy trend for the future as people live increasingly longer and stay fit and healthy - and as their pensions have not delivered what was expected.

People aged 50-State Pension Age:

                                               MEN              WOMEN    

Full time employed 



Part time employed



Total Employed




People over State Pension Age:


                                               MEN              WOMEN    

Full time employed 



Part time employed



Total Employed