This website uses cookies for anonymised analytics and for account authentication. See our privacy and cookies policies for more information.

The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Data reveals huge impact retirees make on UK volunteering

This news post is almost 2 years old

Survey shows retired people are vital to the sector

Retired people who volunteer in the UK were worth the equivalent of £15bn last year research has revealed.

Some 3.2m people aged over 65 took part in formal volunteering through clubs and charitable organisations in 2020/21.

A study by the Centre for Economic Business Research, working with the developer Retirement Villages Group, found that retired women contributed voluntary work worth £.7.7bn while volunteering by retired men was valued at £7.2bn.

The total economic value of retirees’ unpaid labour amounted to £32.7bn, once caring responsibilities and unpaid work with local councils was included.

Pushpin Singh, economist at CEBR, said: “In the public perception, retired people are often portrayed as adding only limited value to our economy.

“This picture is biased and neglects the fact that retired people engage in a range of socially and economically valuable activities. However, these activities are often unpaid or otherwise informal, and therefore do not enter the calculations for economic output.

“Our analysis shows that activities [undertaken] by over-65s do indeed have significant weight to them, dispelling conventional beliefs while reinforcing the invaluable part over-65s play in building the communities we see today.”

Will Bax, chief executive of Retirement Villages Group, said he believed society “can do more to harness this amazing cohort”.

CEBR estimated the value of volunteering based on the total time over-65s spent on unpaid work and help, and multiplied that by the average wage for a comparable paid role.