Stat of the month: Retirement can wait

1 million - The number of people in the UK working beyond state pension age.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Although many of us already dream of a retirement devoted to gently pruning roses in our cottage garden, it may come as a shock to hear that 11% of UK people over state pension age are still working. The proportion of those saving enough for retirement fell from 55% to 46% last year - as the Americans say, you do the math(s). But will UK Plc pay a price for having a bunch of grey panthers and silver surfers prowling the workplace, or will it actually benefit? For a start, ditch those images of rheumy eyes and hip replacements - a recent Bupa survey of HR managers concerned about the older workforce found that 16 to 24-year-olds take the most sick leave. And forget about quill pens and pigeon post, too. We are a nation of mature IT sophisticates, with almost 30% of 65 to 69-year-olds and close to 20% of 70 to 74-year-olds knowing their way around the internet. The UK's birth rate of 1.79 children per woman is still below the level needed for population and worker replacement, so those seeking able staff would do well to scour the grey community.

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