NI working 'five years past retirement'

Published Wednesday, 28 November 2012
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People in Northern Ireland are working an average of 5.3 years past the state retirement age, with more women than men choosing to work longer, according to the latest figures.

NI working 'five years past retirement'
People in NI are working an average of 5.3 years past the state retirement age. (© Pacemaker)

It may not simply be a question of choice though, as the annual study by financial services provider LV= also found that working past retirement is becoming more and more driven by necessity.

While 4.5 million people UK-wide planned to work past the state retirement age in 2010, that number has now risen to 6.5 million - including 4.1 million women.

"With the Government increasing the state pension age, we would hope that those approaching retirement wouldn't feel they need to work beyond it," Ray Chinn, LV= Head of Pensions, said.

"Unfortunately, this is not the case ..."

He added: "Although there are many people who feel too young to retire and want to work for as long as they can, our research shows the majority say they will be forced to do so to survive financially."

Many people find that they have insufficient funds in their pension pots.

Ray Chinn, LV=

The study found that over half (52%) of those working past retirement age do so because of financial necessity, while a third (36%) will stay in work because they enjoy it.

The figures further show that, UK-wide, 4.3 million over-50s had retired but then returned to work.

Nearly one in ten (9%) had to return to work because the state pension wasn't enough to support them, while 14% said that their personal pension wasn't enough to live on.

Some people (32%) felt too young to retire, while others (30%) missed working life.

Of those returning to work from retirement, one in five (20%) said they had made a complete career change and almost one in ten (9%) said they set up a business and now work for themselves.

"The earlier in life you can start saving the better, but it's never too late to make a significant difference to your pension pot," Mr Chinn said.

"It's worrying to see that only 13% of those approaching retirement have taken professional advice about their options, and almost half (48%) say they have no intention of doing so before they retire."

While the average extension to working life is 5.3 years in Northern Ireland, that's shorter than the UK average of 6.2 years.

People in London are working the longest - an average of 7.4 years past the state retirement age.

© UTV News
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