Government employment figure published today shows a record number of over-50s now in the workforce.
The figure show that were 10.6m over 50s in the workplace, equivalent to one in three of all workers. This number has increased sharply in recent decades. In 1992, when these records began just one five (21 per cent) of workers were aged 50 or over.
It is expected to increase again over the next decade, with the state pension age rising for both men and women.
Over the headline figures painted a positive picture of the labour market, with employment rising and wages growing.
However pension experts said this trend for more older workers, puts responsibility on employers to ensure they are supporting employees, in terms of working longer, and to ensure this enables them to save adequately for retirement.
Aviva’s head of savings and retirement Alistair McQueen says: “We’ve never seen a population of this age and size in work. The number of workers over 50 is now more than the populations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland combined.
“However, more must be done by employers to support these record breakers in a fuller working life.”
These government figures also highlight the growing pension challenge facing many women in the workplace.
The figures show the proportion of women in employment is close to a record high at 71.2 per cent.
However, they also show there are still significant differences within the labour force, when compared to men. Of the 8.4m part-time employees in the UK, almost three-quarters are female, and this is one of the reason why there is often disparity between the pensions men and women receive.
Aegon’s pension director Steven Cameron says: “Aegon research has previously found that by the time women reach the age of 50, they have only half the pension savings compared to their male counterparts. If the number of women in part-time employment continues to far outweigh that of males, there’s a real risk that this gap may continue, or even get worse.”
The figures also showed that the number of people who are self-employed is growing at a faster rate than those who are employed.
Cameron adds: “ The self-employed are a growing part of the employment landscape but do not benefit from being automatically into workplace pension so risk lagging behind in their pension provision in retirement. It is crucial, therefore, that we find ways to make pensions more attractive to this large proportion of the workforce.”