The study released today by Prudential discovered that 51 per cent of those who are currently planning to retire this year have already reached state pension age or would consider working past that point.
Meanwhile, almost a quarter (22 per cent) of those who were due to retire this year but have pushed back that date said they need to carry on working because they could not afford to give up work just yet.
"For everyone who can choose their retirement date there are some who have no choice because they physically can’t continue at work, and others whose financial situation forces them to stay on," said Stan Russell, a retirement income expert at Prudential. "Anyone looking to give themselves the greatest degree of choice of when to give up work should be trying to save as much money as possible as early as possible during their careers."
Rather than giving up work entirely, many would-be retirees are instead looking to taper down their commitments. More than a quarter (27 per cent) of those planning to stay employed past state pension age want to stay on with their current employee but work less hours.
Some older workers have more positive reasons for continuing to clock in at the office. Just over half (51 per cent) said they wanted to carry on working to keep their mind and body active and around a third (34 per cent) simply do not feel ready to retire.
Commenting on the report's findings, Adrian Boulding, policy strategy director at the Tax Incentivised Savings Association, told City A.M.:
"The strength of feeling unleashed by the Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) campaign around women's state pension age showed that many people want to retire early, but this report reveals the truth that many just can't afford to. The answer of course is to save more."