Money Minder UK

Cost of Living Driving Seniors to Stay in Employment for Longer

The number of people that choose to continue working in retirement has been rising for many years. As the cost of living crisis continues to take its toll, some will have already decided to carry on working after their retirement age and others will be looking for a part-time job during retirement to afford increasing living costs in order to maintain their current lifestyle.  

With soaring essential bills and inflation rates reaching the highest level in 40 years, a growing number of seniors are finding themselves working past retirement age.

When it comes to deciding whether to stay in full-time employment or retire, it is important to be fully aware of your options.

By using our online budget calculator you can identify how much money you need to maintain or even enhance your retirement lifestyle. Where applicable, you can also use our online pension drawdown calculator to assess the risk of running down your pension funds too soon and to consider the pros and cons of putting in place a guaranteed income for life in comparison to keeping your pension funds invested over the longer term.  

These are really important steps to take for anyone considering retirement to ensure that this chapter of your life is as enjoyable and rewarding as it can be by taking full account of the commitments and plans you have for a satisfying retirement. In the current climate, staying one step ahead can help to slightly ease the financial pressures and will help you to make well-informed decisions.

How many people are employed on a permanent contract aged 66 and above?

Money Minder analysed more than 50 NHS Foundation Trusts across England using a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to find out how many workers aged 66 and over were staying within permanent contracts within the NHS.

The results revealed that on average, from 2018 to 2022, there has been a 29.57% increase in the number of people of retirement age who are employed by the NHS on a permanent basis. 

Barnsley Hospital has seen the highest growth of people staying at work past 66-years-old with a 170.83% increase. This Trust has gone from 24 people staying on to work past retirement age in 2018 to 65 employees this year working over the age of 66. 

The second highest increase was at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic and District Hospital NHS Trust in Oswestry, Shropshire. With only 11 staff staying in work past retirement age in 2018 this has vastly increased to 29 in 2022, a 163.64% rise. 

Similarly in the East of England, the Cornwall Partnership NHS Hospital and West Suffolk Trusts have seen a steady rise in employees continuing to work past retirement age. At the Cornwall Trust, the number of staff continuing to work slowly increased from 32 in 2018 to 69 in 2022. The West Suffolk Trust follows closely behind rising from 45 to 77 - a 71.11% increase. 

Across England, these figures could suggest the cost of living crisis is continuing to affect senior people and is leading them to decide whether retirement is a financially viable option for them in their mid-60s. There is also the possibility that people had drawn out their pensions early and then found they had to return to work some years later, either full-time or part-time. 

Top 10 NHS Trusts with the biggest growth overall 

Rank Hospital % increase between 2018 - 2022

Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust



Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic and District Hospital NHS Trust



Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust



East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust



East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust



University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust



Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust



West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust



Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust



Devon Partnership NHS Trust


What happens to your pension if you work past State Pension age?

If someone decides to stay in their line of work past retirement age, this doesn’t affect their state pension. Although, there are two options to choose from when it comes to making that decision. 

A senior citizen can choose to continue working and still claim their pension, however, this is likely to affect the amount of income tax the pay in retirement. Another option is to stay in work for longer and delay claiming a state pension which will then be readily available when you eventually decide to retire. 

However, it’s also important to know that by choosing to postpone the date you start receiving your state pension, while you might save some income tax in the short term, you may be end up waiting many years before you manage to catch up on the amount of income that you could have had in your back pocket if you had instead drawn the state pension at your normal retirement date. This is often referred to as ‘the cost of delay’.  

Ray Black, managing director of Money Minder and chartered financial planner, commented: 

“This data explores how older people have to stay within their jobs for much longer than they used to. The rising cost of living and the overall increase in all our household bills has meant that even though someone has reached retirement age, it may no longer be an affordable option to stop working altogether. And it’s not just NHS workers that are affected by this dilemma.

“After working and saving for most of their working life, older workers should not be made to feel they need to stay within their roles. There should be extra financial support for those who do want to retire and help to know which steps need to be taken.” 

“When it comes to preparing for retirement, having a clear understanding of your income and outgoings will make it much easier to identify what type of retirement lifestyle you are likely to be able to afford and if you need to save more between now and then to ensure you meet your objectives.” 

Money Minder’s online budget calculator will help you identify how much money you will need in retirement. 

The online pension drawdown calculator can also help to find out if you are running the risk of spending down your pension funds too soon and you can download a personalised ‘Annuity vs Drawdown’ Report to explore and consider the pros and cons of each of these options in detail.


Money Minder sent a Freedom of Information request to all the NHS Foundation Trusts in the UK and asked:

In the years between 2018 to 2022, how many people employed on a permanent contract were aged 66 and above? 

Money Minder then used the data to analyse on average how many employees were staying in their role for longer from the years specified. 

Data correct as of October 2022. 

Please be aware these articles are for general information purposes only and correct at time of printing. We will not accept responsibility for any errors made or actions taken by any readers that have acted on the information contained. Answers given are for guidance only and specific advice should be taken before acting on any of the suggestions made. All information is based on our understanding of current tax practices, which are subject to change. Always remember when investing, past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance and the value of some investment units can fall as well as rise.