The number of men and women working beyond their 65th birthday has more than quadrupled in the past 20 years, figures show. Some 10 percent of over 65s are now in work – a record 1.2 million, up from 272,000 in 1997. The average age of retirement has also increased, with experts warning that working beyond the age of 70 would soon be the norm. The Department for Work and Pensions report showed the number of over 50s in work was up from 6 million two decades ago to more than 9.9 million. Record low interest rates, the demise of final salary pension schemes and rises in the State Pension age are thought to have forced many workers to delay retirement. Former Pensions Minister, Ross Altmann, warned that many who are not well enough to work have been left facing a life of poverty in retirement. “If people want to carry on working and can then that is great, but there are people who can’t work and it is a very serious problem”. The average retirement age for men has risen by two years since 1997 to just over 65, while for women it has risen by three years to around 63 and a half. In July, Ministers said that the State Pension Age would rise to 68 between 2037 and 2039 – rather than from 2044 as had been proposed originally.