Pensions - Articles - Aegon comments on the ONS UK Labour Market figures

Kate Smith, Head of Pensions at Aegon, on today’s ONS UK Labour Market figures:

 “The figures out today demonstrate the changing world of work for those at or nearing retirement age. With employment levels at a record high and falling inactivity, the labour market now includes a higher proportion of workers aged 65 years and older. Changes to the State Pension age have impacted the labour market, with more women aged 50 years and older joining employment or choosing to stay in work. With the unemployment rate for women falling to below 4% for the first time, today’s statistics show that increasingly women are opting to stay employed, with the economic activity rate for older women increasing to reach 69.6% in the last three months of last year.”

 “The numbers tell a story of the reality for women who are approaching retirement and the increasing financial pressures they face. Key to this is the changes brought about by the Pensions Act resulting in women having to wait longer and remain in work before becoming eligible for State Pension. Some women will simply not have saved enough to retire and will need to stay in work to build up a sufficient pension pot to bridge the gap between retirement and the new State Pension age. It’s also interesting to see that the share of women aged 50 to 64 who are self-employed has risen as many look to transition into retirement.”

 “With average weekly earnings increasing by 3.4% in the last quarter of 2018, pay is up by 1.3% in real terms compared to this time a year ago. Workers should make the most of the purchasing power of their earnings, setting aside money for the long-term.

 “Today’s DWP benefits figures also show a significant fall in the number of women claiming the state pension as result of the equalisation of state pension age. This highlights a gender pensions gap, which will only be exacerbated by the future age increases in the state pension age and should prompt women to think about how much they’ll need to save privately for a comfortable retirement.”

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