The number of workers aged 50-64 has increased by one million in less than five years to a record high of 9.04 million, research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has found.
Its report, UK labour market: December 2018, found that the rise in workers from that age group represented more than half of the overall employment increase.
Commenting on the findings, Just Group group communications director, Stephen Lowe said: “It is not a surprise to see such strong growth, given the equalisation of state pension age at 65 for men and women, a process that began in 2010 and finished last month, affecting about 1.3 million women.”
ONS also found that, since the beginning of the state pension age equalisation process, the employment rate for women aged 50-64 increased by 15 per cent, more than double the 7 per cent rise for men in the same age group.
Lowe continued: “With state pension age for both genders set to increase to 67 over the next 10 years, the number of older workers who continue working for longer is likely to rise.
“It will be interesting to see how the labour market adjusts to meet the needs of an ageing workforce, who may be more interested in flexible or part-time working.”
Furthermore, the UK labour market statistics found that there were 207,000 more women in full-time employment, compared to this time last year, and 77,000 less were in part-time employment.
Royal London pension specialist, Helen Morrissey commented: “Such a trend spells good news for female participation in workplace pension saving as one of the key reasons women are under-represented when it comes to auto-enrolment is because they are in part-time work.
“Bringing more women into the auto-enrolment regime means more will be able to put sustainable plans in place for their retirement.”
The increasing number of older workers and the greater flexibility offered by pension freedoms will place greater emphasis on the need for sound financial decisions in retirement.
Lowe concluded: “Pension rules now allow people to tailor their pension withdrawals to their own circumstances but a great deal of care is needed to strike the right balance between taking cash to meet your current needs and holding enough back to meet your future needs.
“People don’t want to make decisions at age 55 that they later come to regret.”