New research from the Centre For Ageing Better finds that the latest increase in the state pension age (SPA) from 65 to 66 – which took place gradually between late 2018 and late 2020 – has significantly boosted the employment of both men and women, leading to 55,000 more 65-year-olds in paid work. Combined, 65-year-olds are working an additional 1.8 million hours per week due to this rise in the state pension age from 65 to 66.
But the effects were unequal. The reform led to an additional 7% of men and 9% of women staying in paid work at age 65. But in the most deprived fifth of areas, women’s employment rate at age 65 rose by 13 percentage points and men’s by 10 percentage points. In contrast, in the most prosperous areas, female and male employment rates at age 65 rose by just 4 and 5 percentage points respectively. This almost certainly reflects the greater need for income at older ages among those living in poorer areas.