Data showed that record numbers are putting off retirement into their later years to maximise the financial and health benefits of staying in the workplace.

Ministers yesterday praised employers for “waking up to the talent” of an older workforce.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics this week showed that a total of 9,991,000 people aged over 50 were in employment in September.

The total was up by 1.7million since 2010 when the last Labour government left office. 

It included 1,182,000 people aged over 65 – equivalent to an employment rate of 10.1 per cent in the age group.

The number of people aged over 65 has risen by 323,000 since 2010.

A total of 8.8million people aged between 50 and 64 were in employment, a rate of 71.2 per cent, and up by 1.4million over the last seven years.

Last night, employment Minister Damian Hinds said: “The over 50s bring decades of experience and expertise to the workplace, and I’m glad that more employers are waking up to the talent they could be missing out on. 

“Staying in work for longer can have a positive impact on both mental and physical health, as well as being good for the bank balance, and building up your pension provision. 

“I want even more people to be able to take advantage of the benefits of employment, and we’ve been working with businesses to make sure people aren’t written off once they reach a certain age.”

Officials were unable to say how many older workers were in full or part-time posts.

However, they pointed out that the overall number of part-time and temporary jobs in the economy has fallen over recent years.

Daily Express