The number of women working past the age of 70 has doubled in the past four years, according to official figures that also reveal one in seven men are continuing in the workforce into old age, amid growing concerns over the bleak outlook for pensions.
Office for National Statistics data reveals that 15.5% of men are still in employment at the age of 70, an increase from 10% in 2012. The rise in women working past the traditional retirement age has doubled from 5.6% to 11.3%, according to investment firm Hargreaves Lansdown.
Much of the increase is down to the abolition of compulsory retirement in 2011. Many older workers say they are happy to continue in employment, but pension experts say women in particular have low levels of savings, and some are being forced to work longer to supplement meagre pensions.
Many women also do not get the full state pension because of gaps in their national insurance contributions, caused by career breaks to raise children or to care for elderly relatives.
Last year Labour’s Frank Field said women caught in the pension age trap were £40,000 out of pocket with many having to sell their homes and go without essentials because of unfair changes to the state pension age.
Men, who are far less likely to take career breaks, have fared better. The figures show that while more are working past 70, there has also been a surge in the number of men aged 51-55 taking early retirement