THE number of working pensioners in Torbay has soared in recent years, fuelling fears people cannot afford to retire.
Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show there were more than 2,800 people in the Bay working after starting to collect their pensions at the end of 2011 — 8.7 per cent of the total elderly population.
This represents a marked hike on the 1,800 recorded in 2004 (6.7 per cent of the over-65s), and the 2,300 (7.4 per cent) in 2010. Devon has also seen a marked increase in the number of working pensioners over the last decade rising from 9,000 to more than 20,000 (13.4 per cent) last year.
The increases come against a background of economic turmoil and rising living costs such as food and energy bills.
Pensioners have also seen any additional income they receive from their savings plummet due to rock-bottom interest rates.
Financial pressures are among the factors cited by the ONS to account for a rise nationally in more people working past retirement as well as people living longer and wanting to remain active.
Tory MP for Newton Abbot Anne Marie Morris, who secured the figures for Devon in response to a parliamentary question, said: "It is interesting to see the number of people aged over 65 in work has increased considerably in recent years. I think it is important for us to consider why because a balance does need to be struck between us benefiting from the wisdom the experienced provide in the workplace and the need for jobs to be available for our youngest generation."
The state pension age is already being increased by the Government to 67 for men and women by 2028, to reflect the fact that people are living longer.
While saving money, the move will also generate extra cash from income tax and national insurance revenue as people work for longer.