As things stand, there are 9.67m people in the UK workforce who are over the age of 50.
This is the highest number since records began and represents 31% of the total UK workforce.
It has risen from 21% back in 1992.
According to new research conducted by Aviva, by 2018 there will be 10m over 50s in the workforce and they will become the largest cohort by May 2024, at which time they will represent more than 1-in-3 workers.
Their analysis of official figures also found a big decrease in the number of people under age 64 who describe themselves as ‘retired’.
According to Aviva, early retirees peaked in August 2011 at 1.6m and they predict there will be almost no one calling themselves retired under the age of 64 by the year 2029.
Commenting on the analysis, Alistair McQueen, Savings and Retirement manager at Aviva said:
“When it comes to funding our longer lives in retirement, we have two options – save more or work longer. For many, the best response will be a mix of the two.
“Auto-enrolment into workplace pensions encourages us to save more, and more than six million new pension savers have joined the system since it was introduced in 2012.
“Our analysis suggests that we are also working longer. Over 50s will become the leading group of workers within the decade, and the idea of “early retirement” would be relegated to the dustbin of history if recent trends continued.
“Our concept of retirement is changing. This is sensible as our life expectancy continues to hit new heights. The challenge for all is to make the most of this changing workforce.”
With rising life expectancy and a growing cost of funding an income in retirement, we believe that early retirement will become far more challenging in the future.
It will still be possible for some people to afford an early retirement, but it will take a lot of careful planning and hard work to make this dream a reality.
Where early retirement will remain common place will be those who are forced into leaving work earlier than planned, due to poor health or lack of suitable employments.
Others will be forced into early retirement due to family pressures, such as the need to become a carer to an elderly parent.
We have no doubt that the nature of retirement is changing and will continue to change.
As someone approaching what was traditionally considered to be ‘retirement age’, you have a couple of choices; you can allow retirement to happen by accident, or you can plan for the retirement you want.