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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 February 2004, 00:26 GMT
More pensioners return to work
Retirement leads to an average £4,164 drop in income
Nearly three million pensioners are returning to work because they cannot afford retirement, a survey suggests.

Finances have got so tight that one in 50 pensioners considered turning to crime last year, the survey said.

According to the findings from Prudential, the average pensioner sees their income drop by more than £4,000 when they retire.

For more than half of the UK's pensioners this means they are having to find ways to boost their income.

Social needs

Two million pensioners are in financial difficulty.

Key figures*
Average annual income for retired households in UK: £14,648
Average drop in income at retirement: £4,164
2.8m pensioners returning to work
Two million pensioners in financial difficulty
*Source: Prudential, 2,300 interviews
People in the South West seem to be the worst off, with nearly a third having to return to work.

Pensioners in Scotland appear to have the best financial planning as only one in six rejoin the workforce.

The most common way to earn extra cash is by going back to work, with a quarter taking this route.

Mervyn Kohler, head of public affairs for Help the Aged, said returning to work wasn't just an economic necessity.

The wages are nothing special but without the extra money things would be very, very tight
George Izzo

Pensioners continued working because some were bored, and others missed having a sense of purpose.

He said: "We need to build on these mainsprings, and find ways to combat age discrimination in employment and enable older people to make a positive decision to work if they want to."

Are you a pensioner who has returned to work? Or are you putting off retirement because of finances?

Your comments:

I am 68 and very fit. The word 'retirement' is not in my vocabulary but it is in that of certain organisations e.g. John Lewis Partnership, Public Galleries, Buckingham Palace, Royal National Theatre etc¿ I have never worked for any of the aforementioned, they wont let me.
David Michael Cooney, London

The average drop in income at retirement is £4164? This figure sounds far too low. Very few people retire with a pension equal to even half of their salary, so with 'average' salaries around £23000 this would suggest a drop of well over £10000 would be nearer the mark.
Martin Roberts, Powys, Wales

I "retired" at 60 from a job I had been in for 12 years, the company would not let me continue. But as we still had a mortgage to pay, it was essential I found something else. So within a month I had found another job, ten minutes from home, with not quite so much responsibility - but I love it. Hopefully I shall be here for some years to come.
Marilyn Curran, Wales

The problem with saving for your retirement is that most jobs don't last more than 10 years if you are lucky. This is ok until you get into your 50's, then you find that employers do not reply to your job applications. As you have sayings for your retirement you do not qualify for any means tested benefits. This means that your retirement savings will quickly disappear in your fifties. I am lucky, I now work part time, I don't earn as much money as I did when I worked full time but I am much happier now that I have more time off. The way that Council Tax and Water charges are rocketing here in Devon and Cornwall, I can't see how anybody will be able to afford to retire here in the future.
A Buchan, Brixham Devon

I have worked for 50 years - 7 of them in the armed forces - for paltry wages. I have paid my dues and now I expect - no I demand - the right to rest and relax, paid for with MY MONEY, that I have paid in.
Peter L Keen, Chichester England

I returned to work mainly because the pension you receive is not enough to survive on with normal living. Also, if you get any sort of private pension, be it only a small one,your social pension is cut to bring you into line.
Jean Greenhorn, Manchester

I'm in the opposite position to most of your contributors. I work for a government agency that has a policy of retirement at 60. I've been made redundant twice in the past five years, so have not had the opportunity to build a good pension. Now I'm being told to retire when the government (my employer) is encouraging us to work on beyond 65. How do I get there?
Ed Young, Edinburgh

I all depends on the standard of lifestyle you want to live at. If you want to run a car, live in a family-sized house and go out regularly for meals then you will find living on the pension alone very limiting. Perhaps if we are as active as this, we could still be earning a living. When I become older and less mobile then I will find my expenses will also decline and I hope to manage on the pension alone.
Alistair, Perth

I like being retired, the reason being I work three shifts a week for a agency, which makes the situation very flexible, I work the days that suit me. THE CHOICE IS GREAT!
Edward John Bradbury, Leighton Buzzard England

I experienced two very long periods of age-discriminated unemployment in my mid-50s (5 years out between 1992 and 1998) and these periods severely drained my finances. However, at 65, I prefer to work even if I could afford not to.
Clive Green, Poole, Dorset

There are lots of opportunities for pensioners that want to get out and take a positive approach. There are too many who sit at home, moan, and feel it should fall into their lap. I have two part-time jobs and have no doubt there are more about if I choose to look for them. Be flexible, be positive and you'll be lucky.
Graham Powell, Leicester, UK

The BBC's Gillian Ni Cheallaigh
"Two million pensioners say they're struggling to make ends meet"

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