More than a million still working at age of 65 plus

It is time to stop writing older people off, says Saga's Paul Green.

It is time to stop writing older people off, says Saga's Paul Green.

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The number of people aged over 65-years-old and still working has increased to more than a million since the coalition came to power, according to research.

According to older people’s group Saga, who carried out the research, there has been a 36 per cent increase in the number of over 65s working since May 2010.

However, the group also said that too many older people who are seeking work are “written off” by employers, and called upon employers to be given an incentive to avoid overlooking older unemployed people.

Paul Green, director of communication at Saga, said: “Thanks in part to the abolition of the default retirement age, many more older people are able to continue in work for as long as they choose to do so, rather than at the whim of their employer.

“However, this good news masks the misery that long-term unemployment causes and more needs to be done to help.

“Recent changes were made by government which removed employers’ national insurance for employing younger workers. By extending this further to encourage employment of those in long-term unemployment, it could encourage more employers to take a chance on those who have been out of work for some time, but who are desperate to get back into the workplace.

“We need to stop writing older workers off simply because they have found themselves out of work at an older age, and start making the most of the invaluable skills and experience many have to offer.”

The TUC claimed £6bn of social security cuts between 2010 and 2017 under the Government’s welfare reforms will befall pensioners and their families. When Universal Credit is rolled out in 2015, total losses to pensioner families will rise to £8.75bn a year, it said.

Economist Dr Ros Altmann, the Business Champion for Older Workers, said the fact that unemployment among 50- to 64-year-olds had fallen more slowly than for younger workers suggested that employers are focusing on hiring young people.

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