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Two in five happy to work past 65

Two in five people planning to retire this year would be happy to work past 65 if they had the chance, new research from Prudential reveals.

2 May, 2012

Prudential's Class of 2012 study, which looks at the finances and expectations of those planning to retire this year, shows that 48% of men and 32% of women would be happy to continue working past the standard retirement age.

The main motivation for more than two thirds of this year's retirees who want to stay in the workforce past 65 is a desire to remain physically healthy and mentally active. Meanwhile 39% do not like the idea of retiring and just staying at home. And more than half claim that they enjoy working.

Gradual retirement

However, despite wanting to stay in work, only 13% would choose to continue to work full-time with their current employer. Nearly half of those retirees who want to work past 65 years old would prefer to work part-time, either with their current employer or in a new role, in order to strike a better work life balance.

Just over one in 10 of entrepreneurial retirees would consider starting their own business after the age of 65 or earn money from a hobby in order to keep working. Five per cent would work as charity volunteers.

Recent ONS figures show that average retirement ages are rising, with men now retiring at an average age of 64.6, compared with 63.8 in 2004, and women working until 62.3 years compared with 61.2 previously.

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential, said: "There is a new retirement reality taking shape across the UK, with thousands of people actively choosing to work past the traditional retirement age.

"The fact that so many of this year's retirees would keep working on a part-time basis is a strong indication that, for many, working is as much about staying young at heart as it is about funding retirement.

"Gradual retirement is an increasing trend among pensioners, whether this means remaining in the same job on a flexible basis or even setting up their own business. Those retiring at 65 will face an average of nineteen years in retirement which makes the financial and social benefits of working for longer an even bigger draw for a new generation of industrious retirees."

Around the country, those planning to retire this year from the East of England were the most keen to stay part of the workforce with 54% saying that they would choose to work past 65 if they had the option. Half of Londoners and 45% of people in the South East would also like to continue to work.

However, just 29% of Scots planning on retiring this year would be happy to work past 65 if given the choice, along with 30% of retirees in Wales and in Yorkshire and Humberside, and only 21% of those in the North East.

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