British workers are retiring earlier now than they were in the 1950s, according to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Research by the DWP shows that in 1950 men were retiring at 67 compared to just 65 years old now.

For women, the average retirement age has changed by just a couple of months, from 63.9 in 1950 to 63.6 now.

Despite this, the DWP's study into the changing trends of the British workforce shows that over the past 20 years, the UK's workforce has been gradually ageing.

Both the government and work and pensions experts warn that it will continue to rise over the coming years.

Earlier this year the government announced its plan to raise the State Pension Age to 68 between 2037-2039 under the Pensions Act 2014.

This is seven years earlier than originally proposed.

Traditionally the State Pension Age has always been lower for women across the UK but this is set to change. By November 2018 women will be retiring at 65, the same age as men.

The research shows that after turning 50, a quarter (25%) of women choose to switch from full to part time employment compared to just 14% of men..

Alistair McQueen, head of savings and retirement at Aviva, said: “The battle for talent between older and younger workers has well and truly begun.

The battle for talent between older and younger workers has well and truly begun.

Alistair McQueen, head of savings and retirement at Aviva
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“Our working world is changing and ageing, with a record number of older workers aged 50 and over. There are now nearly 10 million older workers driving the British economy – representing nearly one-in-three of all workers.

The number of adults over 50 in full time employment has increased.

Mr McQueen said the number of older workers has growing to almost equal the number of millennial workers. The amount of young adults currently in employment has stayed the same. 

“However, hidden beneath the headline figure is evidence of a reversal of recent trends in employment rates," he said. "We must support Britain’s growing, and essential, population of older workers. Age must be no barrier to our opportunity to contribute."

The TUC says the poorest in the UK will suffer the most with the increase of the state pension age. 

The union carried out a study on over 50s in the workplace and found one in eight people who are five years away from retiring are too ill or disabled to work. 

Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, said: “Anyone who thinks retiring at 65 is a scary thought is in for a nasty shock. 

“The rise in average retirement ages is only going to accelerate in the decades to come as the state pension age increases further and the number of people retiring with generous defined benefit entitlements falls away. 

“We will also see more people working longer, either full-time or part-time, in order to supplement their retirement income. 

“The stark reality is that, if life expectancy keeps going up, many will be staring at a retirement age of 70 or older square in the face.”