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More over-65s stay in work as population of islands ages

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GUERNSEY residents continued to work through their golden years in 2018.

The latest population, employment and earnings bulletin revealed 854 people over the age of 65 remain in work, accounting for 3% of all employed people, up from 783 the year before and 744 in 2016. (Picture: Shutterstock)

The latest population, employment and earnings bulletin revealed 854 people over the age of 65 remain in work, accounting for 3% of all employed people, up from 783 the year before and 744 in 2016.

Chairman of Age Concern Guernsey David Inglis said there were many reasons older people to work beyond retirement age, such as the need to supplement their pension, the wish to provide support for family members, and wanting to maintain social contact.

‘The most important benefit we support is the ability to combat loneliness,’ he said.

The population in 2018 was 62,734, an increase of 325 people over the year ending 30 June 2017.

The number of people on the island aged 65 to 84 had risen by 2.1%, or 524, to 10,699.

Of those aged between 65 and 69, 623 were in work, with a further 179 of the population remaining in work between the ages of 70 and 74.

There are many benefits of working past the current default retirement age, including the psychological, intellectual, emotional and social aspects, with the consensus among those over 65 agreeing it is something they enjoy doing.

Christine Goodlass is aged 66 and works at Creaseys part-time. She said she loves the job and would not consider quitting any time soon.

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‘I’ve retired from full-time work, where I used to run a guesthouse, but part-time is lovely,’ she said.

‘It’s hard work and there are times when I find it hard, but I do enjoy it.

‘Carrying on working gets you out, keeps you fit, and keeps your mind going. There’s also the social element to it, there’s lots of regulars, so I get to talk to them and find out what’s going on.’

Islanders can keep working past States pension age, usually for as long as they want to. A forced retirement age of 65 no longer exists. According to the States, encouraging people to continue to work until and past their pension age, will have a positive effect on public finances.

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Newsagent and 68-year-old Jeannette Brouard agreed that by continuing to work she contributes to the economy. She thinks that can only be a good thing, especially since she continues to enjoy working, as it gives her something to do.

‘I work 8am to 4pm every day except Sundays, so generally I am shattered by the end of the day,’ she said.

‘It’s nice in the summer months because I do like meeting and talking to people, but in the wintertime it is hard because it is so cold.’

The States have said the number of people of working age, compared to the number of younger and older people in Guernsey and Alderney, is already one of the highest among advanced economies, and is set to increase.

Danielle Kenneally

By Danielle Kenneally
News reporter

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