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Aug 06, 2008 at 06:03pm IST

Pensioners add to the labour force in UK

London: It might come as a surprise to learn the fastest-growing segment of England's labor force is made up of people who did not plan to be working at all owing to the cash shortfall not covered by their retirement plans.

This happened with Jeanette Hold, a 64-old pensioner who had retired from British Airways 12 years ago.

Hold said that she had flown for twenty-five and a half years and was offered an early retirement package.

She thought that was good and took it. However, 18 months later she was back at work doing market research at London's Gatwick airport.

Jeanette is 64 years old, past Britain's pensionable age which is 60 for women and 65 for men.

By March this year, Britain had 1.3 million pensioners in its workforce which is up almost 9 per cent from last year, making it the fastest growing group in the labour market.

Experts believe the glut of elderly people in Britian's workforce is partly down to demographics.

Low fertility rates among Britons means there just are not as many 20 and 30 year olds.

Add to that poor pensions, small savings, the rising cost of essentials like food and fuel. Some senior citizens like Hold said they could not afford to be jobless.

A group representing pensioners said it expected Britons to work well into their 70's over the next decade, not necessarily because they wanted to.

Hold said that she never thought that she would be still paying mortgage at this age.

She had thought that she would relax, travel around the world, doing things, enjoying life, but now it seemed like a dream.

The only realistic goal for her she said was to learn golf, she just needed to cut down her hours first.

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