‘Work till you drop’ is already becoming a reality for many older people

Half of new retirees to continue working past state pension age, despite £3.5bn in pensioner benefits remaining unclaimed every year.

The notion of ‘work till you drop‘ appears to be becoming more of a reality for many older people in the UK, as research reveals that more than half of new retirees are considering working past state pension age.

A survey of around 1,000 people by the insurance giant Prudential found that 51% are either already working past state pension age or are actively considering the option as they approach retirement.

Of those considering working past state pension age, 20% are planning to start their own business or turn a hobby into a new money-making venture.

Almost one in ten (9%) plan to continue working in a full-time position with their existing employer.

More than one in four (28%) are considering continuing in a part-time role with their current employer, while 29% say they would consider looking for a new job.

Stan Russell, a retirement income expert at Prudential, said: “Our research has shown that a period of ‘pretirement’, where people choose to delay their retirement plans, change jobs, earn a living from a hobby, or go part-time, instead of giving up work altogether, has become the new norm for retirees in recent times.”

Whilst relative poverty among older people has generally fallen in recent years, these new figures suggest that many people approaching retirement still don’t believe they’ve built up a large enough nest egg to give up working completely.

Indeed, figures published earlier this year suggest that earlier progress in tackling pensioner poverty is going backwards, with 1.9 million pensioners now living below the poverty line – incomes less than £288 per week.

Responding to those statistics, Caroline Abrahams, director at Age UK, said: “Managing on a low, fixed income is really tough, and many people face a daily struggle just to afford the basics.

“That’s why is it so important that every older person who is entitled to claim benefits does so.

“Every day Age UK helps people to claim what they are entitled to, and every day we hear how much of a difference the money makes, how surprised people are by how straightforward the process is with the help of an adviser, and how much less they have to worry about everyday bills.”

Government estimates show that many older people are simply not claiming the benefits they’re entitled to, losing out on an estimated £3.5 billion in unclaimed Pension Credit and Housing Benefit alone.

Abrahams added: “It is shameful that despite millions of older people struggling financially, around £3.5bn in money benefits remains unclaimed every year when this extra income could make a huge difference to their lives.

“We would urge anyone who is worried about their finances, or an older family member or friend, to get in touch with us for free, impartial information and advice.”