The number of workers aged 50 plus has reached 9.67m, the biggest number since records began in 1992 according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics.
Over 50s now represent 31 per cent of the UK’s employment workforce, up from 21 per cent in 1992.
Aviva projects that the age 50-plus age group will hit 10m in 2018, and become the biggest cohort in May 2024, representing more than one in three workers.
The number of people who have retired early – those aged 16 to 64 who define themselves as ‘retired’ has fallen to 1.2m, from a peak of 1.6m in August 2011.
Aviva savings and retirement manager Alistair McQueen says: “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.”