One in five return to work after reaching state pension age

More than one in five (21 per cent) pensioners have gone back to work since they reached the State Pension age, or are planning to do so in the future, according to new research from Prudential.

The rise of the retired jobseeker, along with the growing trend for a period of pre-tirement as previously identified by Prudential, shows how the modern retirement reality continues to shift further from the traditional norm of giving up work for good on a set date.

The most common motivation for pensioners heading back into the jobs market is a desire to keep mentally active (61 per cent), although the need to boost retirement income (56 per cent) is also driving retirees back to work.

Voluntary work is the choice of around one in six (16 per cent) retirees who are back at work or plan to return in the future – underlining the point that it is not always financial reasons that drive pensioners to seek employment. Even those who are earning are likely to take a pay cut – more than half say their post retirement wages will be lower than their previous income in employment.

Meanwhile, nearly one in 20 working past State Pension age are earning more than they did before, while one in 12 are setting up their own companies.

Stan Russell, retirement income expert at Prudential, said: “Although it’s striking to see how many retirees are choosing to return to work, it’s not optional for some people. While many say that working in older age is a good way of staying active, there are others who are forced to go back to work to make ends meet.

“Of course, there are real financial benefits from going back to work, such as earning extra cash and deferring taking the State Pension or income from private savings. However, for people who are hoping to give up work completely when they retire, saving as much as possible as early as possible in their working life remains the best way to secure the most comfortable retirement.

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