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.


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Notes to editors:

  • Aviva provides life insurance, general insurance, health insurance and asset management to 33 million customers.
  • In the UK we are the leading insurer serving one in every four households and have strong businesses in selected markets in Europe, Asia and Canada. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE100 index.  
  • Aviva’s asset management business, Aviva Investors, provides asset management services to both Aviva and external clients, and currently manages over £331 billion in assets (as at 31 December 2018). Total group assets under management at Aviva group are £470 billion (as at 31 December 2018).
  • Aviva helps people save for the future and manage the risks of everyday life; last year we paid £32.9 billion in claims and benefits on behalf of our 33 million customers.
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