Official Statistics

Fuller working lives – background evidence

A publication about older people in the UK labour market and the causes and consequences of retiring significantly before State Pension age.

Documents

Fuller working lives – background evidence

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Fuller working lives – background evidence: statistical reference tables and charts

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Fuller working lives – background evidence: infographic

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Detail

This research and analysis has contributed to the development of the publication Fuller Working Lives: a framework for action. The framework explains how older people staying in the labour market for longer would benefit individuals, businesses, society and the economy. It also sets out the actions that government will take to help people have fuller working lives.

Main findings

The main findings are that:

  • there are more over 50s in employment than ever before and the employment rate of older people is still rising
  • early labour market exit is still a problem, with around 2.9 million people currently out of work aged between 50 and State Pension age
  • over half of men and women have already stopped working before they reach State Pension age
  • 1 in 6 men and 1 in 4 women who had recently reached State Pension age hadn’t worked since at least age 55

This document investigates the main causes of an unplanned early exit from the labour force, including health problems, disabilities, caring responsibilities, and redundancy.

It also sets out why large numbers of people leaving work significantly before State Pension age can have serious consequences:

  • for the financial security of individuals involved, their wellbeing and health
  • for the public finances, and wider economy
  • for employers, who can lose valuable skills and experience

In addition, population projections suggest that:

  • by 2022 there will be 700,000 fewer people in the UK aged 16 to 49, but 3.7 million more people aged 50 to State Pension age
  • by 2020 over 50s will comprise almost one third of the working age population

For more information email: fuller.workinglives@dwp.gsi.gov.uk