Pensioner returns to work a year after retiring to keep busy and tackle rising cost of living

  • Katya Fowler went to meet the Jersey pensioner who is still working at the age of 72

A Jersey pensioner has returned to work after a year of retirement to help cope with the soaring cost of living.

Ann Ellis, 72, returned to work as a shop assistant in 2021 and says the rising cost of living meant she could not afford to stay retired.

She works 37 hours per week to help with her financial situation and to keep her mind busy.

Ann works six-hour shifts which she finds manageable and enjoyable. Credit: ITV Channel

Ms Ellis said: “The cost of living is getting higher, and it helps with finances.

"I personally was out of work for a year in 2020 but I just found I needed something to do after that year, I needed something to occupy my mind so I came back to work.

"It keeps me active, it keeps me going, and I like to be busy and to help people."

Deputy Morel warned there is a risk Jersey will have more retirees than working people. Credit: ITV Channel

Jersey's government is encouraging people in their 50s, 60s and 70s to stay in work past retirement age.

There is currently one retired person for every working person in the island - a statistic that Jersey's Economic Development Minister is worried about.

Deputy Kirsten Morel says that 2040 "will be a really crucial date because that’s when the consequences of Jersey’s demographic makeup at the moment will be felt most keenly.

"If we don’t see sustainable economic growth in the way that we need to, by 2040 working people will have to pay a lot more in social security costs, or we’ll have to import thousands of people to the island – one or the other.”

The minister believes that the solution involves removing barriers to get more people of retirement age back into work.

He said: “It is better for the island if people are able to work for longer, but that doesn’t have to mean they stay in their careers.”

Deputy Morel has revealed that Jersey needs to increase its financial growth by four or five times each year to meet the needs of an ageing population.

He believes current growth of around 0.5% per annum is not enough, and that the island needs to reach between 2% and 3% every 12 months for up to the next 20 years to meet its targets.

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