Governments across OECD countries want us to work longer and delay retirement in the face of population ageing and its financial costs (OECD, 2011). State pension ages (SPAs) are to rise in many OECD countries (OECD, 2011: 9). In the UK, for example, the SPA is to rise to 66 as early as 2020, and will eventually reach 68 (ibid.: 25) or perhaps even later if plans to link SPA to life expectancy are enacted (BBC, 2013). It is therefore important that we understand more about people currently working past normal retirement age. They will provide insights about the factors enabling individuals to remain in work up to (and beyond) SPA as it rises in the future. This chapter explores the prevalence and characteristics of those working past normal retirement age, and the wider lessons for public policy.
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