By Tom Midlane
The days of employees being presented with a ceremonial clock and then bundled out of the door the day they hit retirement age are now firmly in the past, new research has revealed.
Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of 65 to 74 year-olds continued to pick up a salary in December 2012, according to insurance group Aviva's latest Real Retirement Report.
There is a growing trend for Brits to extend their working lives, with only 18 per cent of people in that age bracket remaining in the workplace when the report was first launched just under three years ago.
The abolition of the default retirement age in 2011 means that employers no longer have the legal power to force workers to retire once they reach their mid-60s, giving many the freedom to continue doing what they love.
With many baby boomers now hitting pension age the trend towards a longer working life is likely to continue, with the number of 55 to 64-year-olds in employment rising from 41 per cent in February 2010 to 55 per cent last month, the study found.
That has seen average monthly incomes among over-55s rise from £1,239 in February 2012 to £1,444 in December 2012, while savings have grown from £11,590 to £14,544 over the same period.
Roger Marsden, head of retirement at Aviva, said: "What we are seeing is the first baby boomers setting out a new model for later life, and getting the most out of their improved physical health and the freedom to continue working for longer.
"Many people find that staying active in a job helps to keep them young at heart - with the bonus being that it boosts their earning and savings potential in the process."
Almost a third (30 per cent) of over-55s said they intended to continue working part-time once they retired, with men more keen to stay in some form of employment, the report found.
While that might create concerns about them posing a threat to younger job seekers, the average over-55 only plans to work an 11-hour week in a bid to supplement their pension and stay active.
Nearly 50 per cent of those quizzed said they would help out their extended families when they retire, including occasional baby-sitting or child minding.
Retirees in the UK perform around 104 million unpaid hours or £643.8 million worth of unpaid work every week by helping their families or doing charity work, the report found.