Friday, June 25, 2010

Work ‘till you drop

It seems that we are now living longer and therefore placing an increasing burden on the pension pot.

The proposal is therefore to increase the age for retirement in Britain every five years to curb the £55 billion-a-year state pension bill.

The new measures would mean that in just 25 years time the pension age will have risen to 70, affecting all workers now aged 40 (or under).

Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, also announced plans to force workers to enrol in occupational pensions, to phase out the default retirement age, which allows employers to sack older workers, and to raise the current retirement age from 65 to 66 as early as 2016.

Raising the state pension age will hit the less well-off far more than the rich. Statistically, a sixty-five-year-old men in Kensington and Chelsea could expect to live a further 23 years while those in Glasgow would only last 14 years after retirement.

There are many occupations where it is just not feasible to continue working until you are 70; for example you would not want a 70 year old to come to your house to put out a fire. Added to which, the longer people stay in work, the fewer opportunities there will be for young people.

This is a real mess; a problem that successive governments knew was coming but chose to ignore.

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