pensioners-too-ill-to-workThe number of men working beyond state pension age in the UK has overtaken women for the first time since comparable records began in 2005.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that 12.2% of men in this age group were in employment in April to June last year, compared with 11.6% of women.

This may have been triggered by the gradually increasing state pension age for women, which is currently between 60 and 62, depending on their date of birth, and in the next couple of years, this will increase to 65, making it equal with the pension age for men, before the age rises again for both sexes.

For women who work beyond this age, they are most likely to be cleaners, administrators, or working in professional occupations, the ONS Pension Trends report said.

According to the report, men working after their state pension age of 65 were most commonly employed as managers, directors and senior officials, or in professional occupations or skilled trades.

On the reasons for men outnumbering women among working pensioners, Craig Palfrey of Penguin Wealth, a financial advisory firm, said:

“We can only speculate about the reasons, but improved health and longevity, coupled with the growth in home working and consultancy, may have started to feed into this. The employment landscape is changing rapidly and this is enabling more people to work longer in a way that suits their lifestyles.

“What is clear is that more people, both women and men, are working longer and retiring later. There are many reasons for this, such as a failure to put enough aside, but the main issue is that too few people plan in advance.”

Steve Lowe, Director at the annuity provider, Just Retirement, said:

“This data reaffirms what we already know, people are working longer and retiring later, but this is happening at a rapid pace. Estimates suggest both men and women are working for a year longer than they were in just 2004.”