The number of people working past the current statutory retirement age will increase dramatically by 2020, according to new research from the Future Foundation on behalf of Saga.
In 2020 a third of workers – some 10 million people - will be 50 or older, compared to 6.9 million in 2002. Nearly two million will working aged 65 or older as reduced pensions, better life expectancy and skill shortages lead to employers throughout the UK relying on older workers.
In August, a survey by consultants Watson Wyatt suggested that one in four older workers in the UK are now planning to retire later than they had planned two years ago. Low interest rates and a 40 per cent fall in the level of the FTSE 100 has slashed the value of many people's pension funds.
Of those who have already retired, seven per cent have already delayed their retirement because of financial considerations. Saga pointed out that there are also a considerable number of people that want to work for as long as they can.
Earlier this year, the Association of British Insurers warned that Britons need to save £27 billion a year more than currently do if they want to have a comfortable retirement.
The Future Foundation report predicts that workforce participation rates for women are likely to be higher than those for men by 2020 because the state retirement age for women will have increased to 65.
"Given the current economic climate and stock market conditions it is inevitable that some people are going to be forced to work past the statutory retirement age because they can't afford not to," said Janet Thompson, director of corporate development at Saga.
"However it's not all negative. The increase in workers aged 65 and over is, in part, due to the fact that a considerable number of people want to carry on working as late as they can."