In 2014, our analysis showed that the removal of the DRA may have doubled the growth in the numbers of over 65s in employment. Is this still the case?

Our previous analysis

Our analysis from 2014 is available here. In it we show that before the abolition of the Default Retirement Age which allowed employers to forcibly retire anyone aged over 65, the number of over 65s in employment increased by around 3,500 each month. After its abolition, the number of over 65s increased by around 7,600.

The abolition of the DRA looked to have more than doubled the number of over 65s in employment.


Two years have passed since our first analysis. Do our conclusions still stack up? An updated graph is below. Click on it to enlarge.


The number of over 65s in employment continues to rise, but may be slowing down.


As before, the chart above shows a period of stagnation (blue), followed by a period of growth (red), followed by a period of greater growth post-DRA (green). The lines through the points fit well.

However, the trendline in the green post-DRA period is now less steep. It shows that an average of around 6,200 extra over 65 year old were in employment each month. Our previous analysis showed an average of around 7,600 each month.

This means that there has been a slowdown in the growth of over 65s in employment. The average monthly change in employment in the two years since our first analysis is around 3,500 - the same as the red pre-DRA period. 

The growth in over 65s in employment appears to be slowing down.

Were our previous predictions correct?

Previously, we predicted that there would be 1.2m over 65s in employment by July 2015, and 1.3m by August 2016.

The number of over 65s in employment first reached 1.2m in March 2015, before falling back a bit. It has been fluctuating around the 1.2m figure since November 2015. It has yet to reach 1.3m. 

The data suggests that the large rises in over 65s in employment was a medium term change. The data suggest more people may have been continuing in employment employment until a time of their own choosing, rather than being mandatorily retired. 

The data from our analysis is available here. It contains a link to the original ONS source data.