Pensions Trends in the UK

Lexington has found that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published a revised Chapter 4 of Pensions Trends in the UK and Techlink have published their findings. The looks at the labour market and retirement patterns, both in terms of retirement age and part-time working. This is the first edition where the impact of changing State Pension Age (SPA) for women has had a major impact.

Main highlights from the new chapter:

  • In the second quarter of 2012, employment rates for men and women of SPA and over were 12.2% and 11.6% respectively. Nine months previously the figures had been 11.5% and 12.0%, i.e. more women working past SPA than men. The change to more men than women working beyond SPA is almost certainly due to the increase in SPA for women, which meant that women aged less than about 61 were classed as under SPA.
  • The transition from work to retirement will often involve a part-time employment. In April-June 2012, 7.4% of men of SPA and over worked part time, while 4.9% worked full time; 8.4% of women of SPA and over worked part time, while 3.2% worked full time. Between 50 and SPA ONS estimates 9.9% of men and 29.7% of women were doing part-time jobs.
  • The ONS notes that ‘The age at which people retire is difficult to estimate, in part because older people who have become economically inactive may give different reasons for their inactivity – retirement, ill-health, inability to find suitable work – even though their situations are the same.’ It therefore looks at different measures, such as the average age at which people leave the labour market and working life expectancy.

The average age of leaving the labour market:

Year 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012
Men 63.8 64.1 64.4 64.6 64.8
Women 61.2 61.7 61.9 62.3 62.6

Working and non-working life expectancies in 2010 (using 2011 census data)

Age 51 55 60 65 70 75
Men Working 11.62 8.30 4.52 1.77 0.71 0.30
Non-working 18.16 17.96 17.55 16.33 13.72 10.82
Women Working 9.06 6.02 2.71 1.05 0.35 0.11
Non-working 23.92 23.33 22.22 19.62 16.29 12.79


These statistics continue to show a drift upwards in the age at which work ceases although, at the current pace, the equalisation of SPA at 65 in November 2018 will be reached when the average age at which women leave the workforce is about 63.3.

If you have any questions about saving for retirement, or would like to review your retirement plan, please call Lexington on 01793 771093 or give us a call.