Over-50s UK workers outnumber populations of Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland

Image of a middle aged woman at work

Today’s official employment figures1 report a record number of people aged 50 and over in the UK labour market – 10.6 million.

This population now represents nearly one in three (31%) of all workers,  up from one in five (21%) when these records began in 1992.

The state pension age is rising for both men and women, so we can expect this population to keep growing. The responsibility is on employers to ensure they are supporting workers in their adaptation to a longer working life.

Commenting, Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings and Retirement at Aviva said:

We’ve never seen a population of this age and size in work. They are record breakers. 10.6 million people is more than the populations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland combined.2 And as the state pension age for men and women is now rising, we can expect this population to keep growing.

However, more must be done by employers to support these record breakers in a fuller working life. We continue to see a collapse in employment participation as we progress through our 50s, from nearly nine in ten active in the labour market at age 50 to less than one in two as we approach our mid-60s.3 This represents a huge waste of talent, experience and potential.

Aviva is investing in “mid-life MOTs” for its workers aged 45 and over.4 These MOTs have been designed to help people manage their work, wealth and wellbeing at this critical midway point in their lives. And we are investing in apprenticeships for all ages, including those in their 60s.

Aviva is committed to ensuring that age is no barrier to opportunity in work.


Download a photo of Alistair McQueen

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Notes to editors:

  • Aviva is a leading international savings, retirement and insurance business. We exist to be with people when it really matters, throughout their lives – to help them make the most of life. We have been taking care of people for more than 300 years, in line with our purpose of being ‘with you today, for a better tomorrow’.
  • Our vision is to earn our customers’ trust as the best place to save for the future, navigate retirement and insure what matters most to them. In 2018, we paid c.£33 billion in claims and benefits on behalf of our 33 million customers.
  • We operate through five business divisions: Investments, Savings & Retirement; UK Life; General Insurance; Europe Life; and Asia Life; and focus on three strategic priorities: deliver great customer outcomes, excel at the fundamentals and invest in sustainable growth.
  • Total group assets under management at Aviva group are £501 billion (as at 30 June 2019) and our Solvency ratio is 195% (3Q19). Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE 100 index.
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