Sweden’s biggest pension fund Alecta said new research it had conducted using figures from Statistics Sweden confirmed that more people were working after pension age, which it claimed meant many of the pension statistics available today were wrong.
The pension fund said an increasing number of Swedes were choosing to work after they had officially retired from the labour force, with the amount of 80-year-olds in work having almost doubled since the same survey was conducted two years ago.
Staffan Ström, pensions economist at Alecta, said: “This means that many of the pension statistics available today show incorrect figures.”
Alecta said it found that a total of around 350,000 people over the age of 65 were still working while in receipt of their pensions.
“There are many who, on paper, are pensioners but who in fact continue to work and who absolutely do not consider themselves pensioners. We must address this because otherwise, politicians risk making decisions about our pensions on incorrect grounds,” Ström said.
Alecta said one in three 68-year-olds, one in five 73-year-olds and one in ten 79-year-olds received income from work in Sweden, adding that increased life expectancy and the desire to work were two significant reasons for this trend.
The findings were in line with the report recently submitted to Ardalan Shekarabi, Sweden’s Minister for Social Security, by the delegation for senior labour (Delegationen för senior arbetskraft), it said.
This official group reported that one in three seniors wanted to work longer; older people’s health had improved dramatically; older people were better educated; the work environment had improved and it was economically advantageous to work longer, according to Alecta.
The pension fund said its own research findings also showed it was more common for men to work over the age of 65 than women.
“One reason is that men identify more with their professional role and more often have a profession where they can choose where, when and how much they want to work,” said Ström.
He added that statistically it was more common for women to have less flexible occupations with scheduled working hours, for example.