40% of retirees would work past age 65

Two in five (40%) employees planning to retire this year would be happy to work past 65 if they had the chance, according to research by Prudential.

The Class of 2012 survey, which looked at the finances and expectations of those planning to retire in 2012, found that 48% of men and 32% of women would be happy to continue working past the standard retirement age.

Two-thirds (68%) of respondents cited the main reason to stay in the workforce past 65 as the desire to remain physically healthy and mentally active. More than half (54%) claimed that they enjoy working.

Despite this, only 13% would choose to continue to work full-time with their current employer. Nearly half (49%) of respondents who wanted to work past 65 would prefer to work part-time, either with their current employer or in a new role, in order to strike a better work-life balance.

Those planning to retire this year from the east of England were the most keen to stay part of the workforce, at 54% of respondents. Half (49%) of Londoners and 45% of employees in the southeast would also like to continue to work.

Just 29% of Scots planning to retire this year would be happy to work past 65 if given the choice, along with 30% of respondents in Wales, Yorkshire and Humberside, and only 21% of those in the north-east.

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential, said: “There is a new retirement reality taking shape across the UK, with thousands of people actively choosing to work past the traditional retirement age.

“The fact that so many of this year’s retirees would keep working on a part-time basis is a strong indication that, for many, working is as much about staying young at heart as it is about funding retirement.

“Gradual retirement is an increasing trend among pensioners, whether this means remaining in the same job on a flexible basis or even setting up their own business. Those retiring at 65 will face an average of nineteen years in retirement which makes the financial and social benefits of working for longer an even bigger draw for a new generation of industrious retirees.”

Read more articles on retirement options