Over 70s forced out of work due to coronavirus shielding – putting pressure on incomes

• Many over 70s have to work due to rising levels of pension poverty

The number of people aged over 70 in work fell 22% over the last three months compared to the same period in 2019, says Salisbury House Wealth, the leading financial adviser.

There were 452,000* people aged over 70 in work between April and June 2020, down from 578,000 in the same period in 2019. The coronavirus lockdown and the requirement for people aged over 70 to “shield” has restricted their ability to work in many cases.

Salisbury House Wealth says many people aged over 70 will have been working during their retirement in order to cover shortfalls in their pensions and savings. This means that the inability of many to go to work will be putting serious pressure on their standard of living.

Meanwhile, the number of people aged 35 – 64 in work during the same period (April and June 2020) remained virtually unchanged on the previous year (20.3m in work versus 20.1m during the same period in 2019).

Tim Holmes, Managing Director at Salisbury House Wealth, says: “Over 70s who were suffering from too low a pension coming into the coronavirus pandemic could be in an even worse situation now.”

“Many people now rely on full or part time work to keep their retirement income ticking over. Unfortunately, it could be difficult for some people to move back into their old roles due to the health risks. Jobs cuts may also make it harder to find work and despite, age discrimination rules employers are going to more cautious about hiring the older demographic at the moment.”

“For those currently saving into a pension, it is worth taking note. You never know what is round the corner so it is best to build a good cash buffer. Coronavirus has proved to be the mother of all rainy days.”

The number of people working in their retirement has been increasing dramatically in recent years. In 2010, 251,000 people aged over 70 were in work which is less than half the number in the second quarter of 2019 (578,000).

Salisbury House Wealth adds although many people aged over 70 will be working to cover pension shortfalls, legislation aimed at reducing age discrimination could also have been driving the rise in employment levels amongst this age group.

The Equality Act 2010 says that workers must not be discriminated against because they are a certain age or in a certain age group. This may have led to more people aged over 70 being hired.

Tim Holmes adds: “More people working into their 70s is part of a longer-term trend. Some really enjoy maintaining that connection to the workplace.”

*Department for Work and Pensions

Notes to Editors
Salisbury House Wealth is a leading financial advisor founded in 1986, and based in Leicester.

Salisbury House Wealth offers specialist professional advice to high net worth and mass affluent individuals on a range of financial products. These include mortgage and pension plans, investment programmes, inheritance tax plans and life insurance.