Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html en-gb 30 Fri 06 Mar 2015 14:46:47 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html EmmaPaynter12 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=98#comment51 To be honest, I don't see the problem in letting people work as long as they feel fit and competent to do so. After all, isn't this a free country? The fact that people are 'forced' into retirement at 65 is kind of a moot point anyway, because people who want to keep on working still can do, as many pensioners are now becoming more computer-literate and earning some money on the internet working from home.The main point in favour of the compulsory retirement age is a fresh cycle of workers in the economy. There are only enough jobs to go round and if some people don't feel the need to move on, then where are University graduates going to go? Mon 09 Nov 2009 16:52:41 GMT+1 briang65 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=96#comment50 It's all well and good about raising the retirement age but if they don't i think people will on retiring become bankrupt becaise they owe too much debt. What are we going to do nabout that? Wed 06 May 2009 15:21:46 GMT+1 pandatank http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=94#comment49 Mark, what have you done? You've just softened us up for the recent announcement that the govt. is considering extending the compulsory retirement age to 70. Wed 06 May 2009 12:57:52 GMT+1 forgottenukcitizen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=92#comment48 · 47. HardWorkingHobbes wrote: A major problem with allowing people of retired age to work is that in the short term there is a fixed amount of jobs.Reply: GB has already thought about this; why do you think he wants the school leaving age to rise to 18 & everybody to stay on in further education?For every 65+ person working there is a 45+ who cant get promotion to their job, then there is the 35+ person who wants promotion to the 45+'s job, the 25+ person wanting to move inot the 35+'s job and finally the 18 year old who is sitting at home unemployed because there are no starting vacancies in the workplace.Reply: You should work with me; at 45 Ive been shunted sideways to allow the promotion of the younger generation you salute. The trouble is they have little interest in the company as a whole & are more interested in self-promotion. After a short while they leave to go onto other companies & leave us to pick up the pieces. Say what you want about the older generation, but they have achieved the experiences that only time can provide &, in my case, provide continued service propping up those less experienced & committed.Example: I hear Tony Benn is looking to make a come back to Westminster next election. If you look at the state of the current me, me bunch, it will be a very welcome return. Perhaps he can get Norman Tebbit to join him?Finally; have to point out that even if I do make it to 67 (yes thats correct), my final salary scheme has been phased out & replaced by a money purchase scheme that wont pay for my Council Tax let alone anything else.With the next decade looking very bleak, what makes you thing that the older generation will be able to retire even if we wanted to?That is, unless you are willing to pay substantially more tax to subsidise us? (Sorry i'm presuming you are older than me, but then again?)Please see my reply 33 for an answer to this one! Tue 05 May 2009 17:06:56 GMT+1 Kop-forever http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=90#comment47 Removing compulsory retirement is, on the face of it, a wonderful idea. But in reality it is not so simple. In recent years I have worked alongside someone who was due for retirement and she did not want to retire. But not wanting to retire did not mean she was doing the actual work the job required of her. Instead she expected her colleagues to take on the duties she was meant to do, claiming age restricted her from doing even simple tasks in the office. By the end of it, her working day looked more like coffee morning all day, rather than an actual working day. Yet no one would speak out, as that was not the done thing. A large part of the working day involved answering telephone calls from clients, and again she claimed she could not cope with the stress of this. But she could still sit on endless personal calls all day long.To me, if someone is unable to do the job then they should go. If retirement age has past, not working means it is time to go. Not sit there to take a pay packet from an employer just because you an get away with it. Tue 05 May 2009 14:32:10 GMT+1 HardWorkingHobbes http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=88#comment46 A major problem with allowing people of retired age to work is that in the short term there is a fixed amount of jobs.For every 65+ person working there is a 45+ who cant get promotion to their job, then there is the 35+ person who wants promotion to the 45+'s job, the 25+ person wanting to move inot the 35+'s job and finally the 18 year old who is sitting at home unemployed because there are no starting vacancies in the workplace.I's rather have 20 somethings working and 60 somethings sitting at home retired than the opposite. Tue 05 May 2009 13:05:35 GMT+1 NOSIDA http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=86#comment45 Another proposal dressed up as a positive. For our benefit. There are good reasons why things are as they are. If the retirement rules were to be chnged we would soon appreciate why we had them. Too many schemes are dressed up as win win when they are really win lose.By the way I took my public sector premature retirement at 51. Would not go back for double the money. You get what you pay for, I paid 30 years contributions and am making sure I get them back. Tue 05 May 2009 07:51:09 GMT+1 quietoldinthetooth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=84#comment44 62 pigosoratus you are62 i am 75 ,I dont think any of us retire,The world is or was awonderfull place so much too see so much to do,But slowly been eroded by man him self, I still work as i feel if you stop you wont start again I still paint the house and render the walls but dont recieve any renumeration for the same but still job satisfaction i may claim,to the rest of you out there i wish you every sucess in what ever you do i only wish you could have seen the world in my youth ,It was a lot nicer than today and i went through the air raids good luck. Tue 05 May 2009 05:24:54 GMT+1 dawbz62 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=82#comment43 Perhaps Brian_NE37 was one of those many people who, mockingly, thought in pre-credit-crunch days that public-sector workers' pay was poor. It annoys me when i read and hear these comments. It reminds me of the tale of the tortoise and the hare. Many private sector workers enjoyed better salaries, bonuses, relocation-packages and company cars in the days when my wife and I struggled to get a mortgage on our NHS pay. One estate agent in the late 80s laughed at our combined salaries! We worked really hard, doing very long shifts to get by. And during those dark days we thought - thank goodness we've got job security and a good pension. I heard no complaints then from the 'hares'! I do sympathize with hard working people who are now struggling, but taking away the 'tortoises' pension seems very unfair. Mon 04 May 2009 23:17:15 GMT+1 Pigosoratus http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=80#comment42 I'm 62 years old and still working with no plans to retire .. ever. I've worked in IT since the early 1970's with the odd short break owing to redundancy and I still love it but even if my current role comes to an end I know I'll continue to do something; what I actually do is secondary. We all have a basic need to contribute, which forcing people into retirement seems to ignore so I guess I don't support compulsory redundancy at any age. Like most people these days, my private-sector money-purchase pension will not be adequate, maybe £4-5k/annum, so (additionally) for me retirement isn't an option but I've accepted this and I'll just get on with life for as long as I can ... so-far-so-good, I'm still very glad to be alive & I mostly think the world is a wonderful place where good usually wins-out in the long-term. Mon 04 May 2009 22:08:14 GMT+1 ChefRay http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=78#comment41 Whilst I agree that it would be nice if we could retire, as promised years ago, to enjoy our golden years in comfort. In today's world that is a luxury only savailable to the wealthy few, or policians and those who hold government paid positions. For the majority, it is all down to saving what you can during your life, and praying that they will not stop payng pensions before you get to 65/70/75 or more. I worked since 15 years of age in the restaurant biz. Unlike Gordon Ramsey, I came along before TV chefs had developed into a multibillion dollar industry. So I worked, learned my trade and worked some more, finally emigrating to Canada to earn a decent wage. To my chagrin I learned that over the pond here, cooking is still a bottom of the barrel trade, scraping in a minimum wage. As a moderately paid pastry chef in a luxury resort, I was finally discarded by my employer on the grounds of company retirement policy, and replaced by a sweet young thing earning minimum wage. I love my work and could have continued in it until I dropped. But policy being policy, I was shunted into retirement with not even a gold watch, at a time when my political masters were voting themselves extra cash and even greated retirement packages. Am I sore about that? Absolutely! It's almost enough to make me use Gordon's famous F Word. Taking the bull by the horns I formed my own self-publishing company and wrote and, by using my computer skills and some great software, self published cookbooks for a while, whilst developing my writing skills in the local paper with a weekly food column. But they had still taken away the love of my life, creating desserts, pastries, bread, and chocolate dipped strawberries etc. I say good luck to all those opposed to mandatory retirement. Everyone should have the freedom to work as long as they wish to on this earth. Particularly long enough to pass on their wisdom and acquired knowledge and skills to those coming after them. And shame on those political and beaurocratic wasters who think otherwise. Older folk have a value beyond the dollars and cents of the accountanting department. It is about time that governments realised that, and capitalised upon the great wealth that is being thrust out to graze. But of course nobody really believes that political people have that much common sense. Have a great day all you retirees. I wish you luck. For myself, I am looking around at 70, for another project for the next 10 years. Mon 04 May 2009 19:01:29 GMT+1 bristolrob http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=76#comment40 Firstly the graph as published is not at all frightening. It needs the number of people in the age bracket 16-65 added to it to make it so. It could be that these are increasing at a the same rate or even greater. Looking at the statsistics does show indeed show they are not, but that is not how the data is represented in the graph. In my mind the really frightening figure is the number of people who are in the working age groups also increases. Where are the jobs coming to keep these in work? On the other hand-if new jobs are created and these 2m get work along with the extra in the working age group,the situation should be better with full employment and enough to pay for pensions with reduced benefit payments. Mon 04 May 2009 19:01:29 GMT+1 Nonie Westbourne http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=75#comment39 I am 66, and have recently 'retired'. I hate it. I know I have so much knowledge and skill yet to give, and I miss the work, the comradeship and the feeling of self-worth I gained from contributing professionally to a business. We should not be forced to retire when we can still offer something to the economy. It's barmy, especially when so many of us need to earn still, can contribute to the exchequer and our own pensions, and can validate ourselves as useful members of society. I now feel really useless, my intelligence and social standing diminished, and my future worthless and bleak. And please don't say that charitable work will offer a means of contributing. Those of working age regard older volunteers as pathetic, desperate and past it. There is a whole world that ticks over between 10.00 am and 5.00 pm that only cauliflower heads inhabit - a world of coaches, afternoon teas, out of season holidays, doctors waiting rooms and libraries - and it is not at all attractive, especially to retired but relatively poor ex-professionals. Now that final salary pensions are going (except for the privileged public sector workers, of course) there is no feasible argument for preventing those who are older from working. Mon 04 May 2009 12:16:17 GMT+1 quietoldinthetooth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=73#comment38 38 couldent have put it better my self,The goverment put their greedy fingers in to the goose that lay the golden egg,at the same time of filling there own little nest pile thanks a lot gorden. Mon 04 May 2009 07:18:14 GMT+1 MrWonderfulReality http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=71#comment37 Years ago when I was at secondary school in the 1970s, it was more than just an expectation that by the year 2000 we would all be working LESS years & be able to enjoy travel and many other activities due to advancements in computerisation & technology which was supposed to increase efficiency/productivity.I think the reason why government are looking to extend working age is because for decades we have been following a catch up policy. Those who work pay for those retired, because the money retired people contributed for pensions, has all been spent on political carrot/donkey policies. These are policies that promise the world but fail to mention that they mean dipping in to pensions/savings contributions and spending all the available money, relying on future generations to work and pay for the previous.If future generations are to be denied adequate income due to decades of political ineptitude & negligence then government pensions, today, should also be abolished and they MPs should be provided with the same criterea as every other worker and be just as effected, tho without MPs being able to stay in Parliament for the extra years & dominate politics with old generation policies that neglect future generations. Sun 03 May 2009 17:42:02 GMT+1 professorroy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=69#comment36 I moved from a British to a US university some years ago. If I had stayed in Britain I would have had to retire 8 years ago. Here I am continuing to do research at my university supplementing my social security income. I can't believe that compulsory retirement is still possible in the UK. It has been treated as illegal age discrimination in the US for years. Sun 03 May 2009 17:20:40 GMT+1 Its_an_Outrage http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=67#comment35 Chance would be a fine thing. I'm over 60 and living of a tiny occupational pension and until recently interest on my small savings. I would really like a job, even part-time but although I have a good CV, I can't find one. Don't tell me it's nothing to do with my age. And why do people think that politicians a pandering to the 'grey vote'? I can see no evidence whatever of that. Sun 03 May 2009 14:01:01 GMT+1 Sagacity http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=65#comment34 It makes sense to allow those who wish to continue to work to do so and to allow those who wish to retire to do so rather than have an enforced retirement age. We just need to make sure it's done in way where it really is a choice. Sun 03 May 2009 13:23:27 GMT+1 quietoldinthetooth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=63#comment33 I had to stay on till 65,Now 75 bit of a job to exsist on the pittance i have recieve never the less, feel sorry for the young born today they won't be able to retire at 105 they will be paying off the national debt and still working Sun 03 May 2009 07:14:14 GMT+1 forgottenukcitizen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=61#comment32 Oh Dear, Where do I start?Well, the State Pension age for many of us is now greater than 65 anyway.For me it is currently 67; & that was before things kicked off last fall.I predict that during the next (Conservative) Government, the bad news will be given that, due to effects of the economic crisis, my age of retirement will have to rise to 69.By the time I reach this age, the State Pension will probably have become means tested anyway & will only be payable to people who are on their last legs a kind of sickness benefit if you will.Make no mistake; these ideas about scrapping the age of retirement have little to do with freedom of choice, & everything about getting you to work for as long as possible until you drop.Lets face it; this is all about money & nothing else.Ive known people retire at the age of 55, but on the other hand see Meet & Greeters at Asda who are well into their 70s.Do you think they are there because they want to be or because they have to be?Currently, huge levels of borrowing are being shifted onto the next generation through over priced housing, Tuition fees & public spending (PFI, Bank bail outs et al).What makes any of us think they will have the money to pay for the previous generation, as is the case at the moment?At 45, I have long given up on the dream of retirement & believe that the quicker my generation take a taxi ride to Reality Street & smell that coffee, the better.PS: If I loose a job at my current age, where does the Government think they are going to find the employment to employ me now, let alone keep me on into my 70s?Its the soup kitchen for me Fri 01 May 2009 19:15:54 GMT+1 drewblogger http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=59#comment31 I'm 61 and would love to be able to give up work now but I couldn't afford to do it. I have worked for a local authority for the last 3 years but previously worked in the voluntary and private sectors. I would be able to survive on the pension I'll get but it would be a constant struggle. No thanks. I'll be looking for a job, maybe part-time but I really have no option but to continue working.Older people are healthier, on average, than they have ever been and the majority retain their mental abilities for longer as well. Why waste this resource of experience and ability, as well as the contribution to the economy? Fri 01 May 2009 13:19:18 GMT+1 davep01 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=57#comment30 Yes, it's going to be mighty problematic in the long term, but why are so many pensioners living in poverty even now? Could it be anything to do with "Me me me" voting over the past 30 years by working-age people demanding ever lower income tax (but seemingly oblivious to the need to make up the shortfall by other means)? Let's face it, we didn't fund proper state pensions when the times were good, so it's a bit late moaning about it now. Having held pensions down means though that there's some room to cover the medium-term growth in numbers without incurring such a burden as to make us less competitive than our neighbours. Let's remember too that while the elderly may increase by a half or so in the next 30 years our GDP should double on past trends (recessions included) - so even if there's some lasting economic slowdown the only reason for our not being able to support tomorrow's pensioners at today's pension rates (and hopefully rather more) is the meanness of those able to pay. The rest will have to come from immigration, and as the rest of the world ages, becomes better off and stops multiplying that option won't be available forever, so I'd make the most of it while it's on offer. Thu 30 Apr 2009 20:25:30 GMT+1 Death and Taxes http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=55#comment29 So what jobs are we expected to do after 65 then? It's already been shown that Brown lied about the number of available jobs so who exactly is going to employ all these wrinklies? The BBC? Oh no, they sack their presenters when they get too 'old' don't they - well the women anyway.Somehow I think you have been troughing with the Government too long and can no longer discern their lies and spin from the obvious truth. Perhaps you should resign? Thu 30 Apr 2009 18:47:42 GMT+1 ikamaskeip http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=53#comment28 solpugid and #16."My argument" as you describe it was not really that so much as a contribution referring to some Fiscal-Pension ideas that were mooted some 25 or more years ago in studies I recall reading.I totally concur that Pension contributions from all types are way too low: All the more reason for compulsory amounts from everyone inc. perhaps, from Parents of children from aged 5; not saying it's ideal or the only method, but, I thought the ideas were worth reconsideration (I just wish I could remember who and when the 'studies' came from). Cretainly they seemed quite radical back then but maybe now their time has come. Thu 30 Apr 2009 16:30:51 GMT+1 jon112uk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=51#comment27 21. At 10:58am on 30 Apr 2009, RomeStu wrote:14 jon - the number of young migrants arriving in the UK are not nearly enough to offset the additional lifespan of the retirees. ============Hi - Don't forget I'm all in favour of Mark's basic point - no COMPULSORY retirement age.The graph is about old people and 'under 16s' - the influx is young adults, so even if this government were being honest, most would not show on Mark's graph. These are mostly people of working age. My language about maternity services is a little tongue in cheek but basically the new people have families like the indiginous population used to do - large families, starting young. The idea that the number of kids will only slightly increase by 2026 is ludicrous. Basically, I'm very sceptical about population stats from a government that just will not even acknowledge the massive increases in population the country is experiencing - 1 million people is a city the size of Birmingham in four years...and that's if you believe it's only 1 million. How many by 2026? Thu 30 Apr 2009 13:48:13 GMT+1 SoUnfair http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=50#comment26 "We could import young people to work and pay tax to support the elderly"Mark, these young people you write about will also get old in due course and who would then pay their pensions ? Thu 30 Apr 2009 13:14:29 GMT+1 Matthew http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=48#comment25 @22 jamesinpiter - a sixth option is that in the long term, we could move towards having funded pensions, at least in part. Thu 30 Apr 2009 12:36:49 GMT+1 pandatank http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=46#comment24 If you believe the other reports in the media, it's unlikely that there will be the elderly population explosion predicted. Obesity and stress related illnesses will drastically reduce numbers reaching retirement age, as will the permanent damage caused by early alcohol abuse. Elderly care is progressively deteriorating, NHS is declining, chucked on the poor heap at 65, having to choose between heating & eating, with a state pension that's a joke and not enough contribution to a private pension because I started it too late. I'm likely to end up paying for my parents pension and my childrens pension. If I'm really lucky Swine Flu or the next pandemic Flu variant will see me off before I succumb to the half-life of misery and degradation I see many of our elderly get put through today. Thu 30 Apr 2009 11:00:51 GMT+1 pandatank http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=44#comment23 I wondered how long it would take for someone to start banging on about public sector pensions, and waddayaknow? First Post! Firstly, those public sector pensions are paid for by increased contributions from the worker. If private sector put in the same amount they'd also get the same out. The only difference is because the Govt. is the employer, you know that they've been putting in their share. Unfortunately , because private employers have been allowed to avoid paying in their share of the pension contributions, if the company goes bust, so does the pension! Secondly, public sector pensions changed 10 years and again 5 years ago each time ensuring that employees will get nowhere near the same pension payouts as the civil servants retiring now, most of whom have worked for over forty years. The Civil Service hasn't been a "job for life & a good pension" for at least the last 10 years. I left the civil service for private industry over a year ago, I get paid about 25% more, with better prospects of promotion, my pension benefits are better (due to better final salary), I get paid for my professional advice (which gets considered) rather than ignored by the minister because they've decided they know better and I do all this with IT systems that work and a support infrastructure & working conditions based on commercial logic. Best of all, we get to keep the money we save the company (through austerity,improvement, whatever)to supplement our departments budget, we don't have to hand it back to Treasury and have our budgets trimmed by that amount next year! Thu 30 Apr 2009 10:44:59 GMT+1 TandF1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=42#comment22 Compulsory retirement gives companies time to plan and also allows new blood to enter the work place. For all the talk of ethics lets not forget the pragmatic side of things. Large numbers of unemployed old people are a tragedy. Large numbers of unemployed young people are a potential danger (Riots, radicalism, crime etc.). A view that is in no way moral but is undoubtedly true. I'm not trying to demonise unemployed youth, I'm just pointing to the example of history. But we have no historical example of the great numbers of old people we now have. Thu 30 Apr 2009 10:37:48 GMT+1 jamesinpiter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=40#comment21 The 65 limit is purely arbitary and makes no allowances for improvements in the general health of the population, or the shift from hard manual labour that has happened over the last 70 years.When my mother reached 60 she wanted to go from full time work to part-time work. Her employer agreed. But when she calculated it, she worked out that she would be significantly worse off financially than she would on a pension. Even working full time would have meant that she was only somthing like a tenner a week better off. She could do the job, and she wanted to, she should have been encouraged to.I also agree with the idea that work (within moderation) keeps you young. I noticed that my father aged very quickly as soon as he retired. But I've also noticed that since my brother opened his business, that the need to think, so that he can provide advice, has made the years fall away.The UK pension system was set up on the principle that the current working population pays for the current pensioners. This works fine if you have a stable population demographic, and is great if you have a bulging working population, but it's a disaster if the balance of the pensionable population v working population is shifting away from the workers. In this situation you only have five logical choices.1. Find a way of increasing the working population - more working age people working - ie. less working age people on benefits (whether unemployment or sickness) or importing working age people, or alternatively getting pensionable age people to work.2. Reduce the pensionable population. Not something I think anyone would want to think about.3. Transfer of a greater proportion of the wealth from the working population to the pensionable population. There are limits here to what is both practically and politically possible. The generation in their 20's and 30's are already overburdened by the need to pay for themselves and still having to pay for the liabilities of their parents.4. Reduce the size of pensions. Again, there are limits to how far this can be done.5. Achieve greater productivity from the working population.While I am sure that we will achieve greater productivity from the working population, I'm convinced that the easiest and best way to improve the situation is to increase the size of the working population by allowing older workers to work, and not penalising them in the tax system as is currently the case. Thu 30 Apr 2009 10:03:12 GMT+1 RomeStu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=38#comment20 Although there are good arguments on both sides of the debate, it will all come down to money in the end.There are simply more old people than young, and they are living longer, and the pensions funds (state or private) simply will not be able to pay for the maintenance of an aging population which, due to medical advances lives ever longer.I'm not suggesting the "Logan's Run" solution, but something needs to be considered and soon.___________________________________14 jon - the number of young migrants arriving in the UK are not nearly enough to offset the additional lifespan of the retirees. When the retirement age was set at 65, life expectancy was around 75 years.Now Men aged 65 could expect to reach 81 and women to 84 if mortality rates remained the same as they were in 2003-05.____________________________________It is ridiculous that perfectly capable 65 year olds are forced to retire - a form of discrimination if you like - but also it is important that those less fortunate should continue to be looked after.No easy answers, but the question will only get harder if it is left to the side.Problem is with an aging population the "gray vote" is a powerful block, and politics is all about re-election, not what is good for the country. After all to the politicians the future is someone elses problem. Thu 30 Apr 2009 09:58:40 GMT+1 MockTheTruth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=36#comment19 cant pensioners get a paper round? Thu 30 Apr 2009 09:56:49 GMT+1 solpugid http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=34#comment18 17. At 10:32am on 30 Apr 2009, timetoponder wrote: "Why do we have to have a 'one fits all policy'?"We need a policy that within reason can consider the interests of 'all'. That is what good policy is. To take a specific point you make, people 'can' work part time - if they are fortunate enough to be able to to arrange to do so. We have no socially coherent policy that provides security after work. I feel you are telling us that we could all be like the lucky ones if we wanted to - where have we heard that before? Thu 30 Apr 2009 09:54:03 GMT+1 frustrateddotcom http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=32#comment17 Not everyone wants to work until they drop! having worked since 16 without drawing any benefits etc! in a "career" the last 30 years with the same company and sometimes having 3 jobs to survive I'm looking forward to my retirement! Like the state pension all politicians want to do is push up the age limit. Thu 30 Apr 2009 09:37:12 GMT+1 timetoponder http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=30#comment16 Why do we have to have a 'one fits all policy'? The joy of being a human being is that we are all different and for some continuing work would be not only beneficial to them personally but would also benefit the company/organisation they work for but also would be in the national interest We talk about life long leaning and yet seem ready to put on the scrap heap those with enormous skills and knowledge. This education costs the Country billions, so why discard it when we need skilled people more than ever before?For others, for what ever reason retirement at 60/65 is appropriate and they should be allowed to finish. It is easy to forget that some people spend their lives doing heavy physical work in extremely difficult environments and for them it is just not possible to continue at that level or pace.Why do we have to have work or no work, why can we not have flexibility so people can work part-time, so they are there to ensure continuity and pass on their skills to the next generation. They could become mentors.In other cultures the elders are respected but sadly not so in this country and yet we are all heading in the same direction, we will all get old!!! Those fortunate enough to live long enough to reach retirement will tell you it comes round Oh so quickly!!!!!How can we have a law that says we have to retire at 60/65 when quite clearly politicians don't have to retire. Surely if its good enough for them its good enough for the rest of us??There is huge age discrimination in this Country, so for those reading this who are not yet 60 be warned. Your turn will come round quicker than you think, so maybe you should start being more thoughtful about your own future and treat people as you would want to be treated yourself Thu 30 Apr 2009 09:32:01 GMT+1 solpugid http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=28#comment15 12. At 09:42am on 30 Apr 2009, ikamaskeip: What your argument ignores is the fact that there are too many gaps in financial support for the retired. Investments have collapsed, state pension is nugatory and private provision has a most woeful history - need I elaborate? The better off can afford to retire, the less well off cannot. Thu 30 Apr 2009 09:29:29 GMT+1 solpugid http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=26#comment14 Removing compulsory retirement is a fine idea but it is so easily replaced with compulsory redundancy that it comes over as more fashionable than fully thought through. When this country is ready to protect employment as a whole then we may see social justice. Making a special case of a particular age band, who in reality it will not protect for the reason I suggest, is just nibbling at the problem Thu 30 Apr 2009 09:17:23 GMT+1 jon112uk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=25#comment13 Mark, I think the 'demographic timebomb' graph is pure BS. It is produced by a government which just won't acknowledge the scale of imigration. Allegedly one million new (mostly young) people arrived in the last four years, no one knows for sure. Anyone who thinks that graph is true needs to go spend a day in the maternity ward in some English cities - some of which are collapsing under the strain of the number of births with home birth services suspended, units closing to concentrate resources and government commissioning increased training places for more midwives to try to meet the demand.Compulsory retirement? Yes I agree with your basic point. How can we have a law which allows capable people to be forced out of a job on grounds of age, whilst the same government outlaws discrimination on many other grounds? Thu 30 Apr 2009 09:10:20 GMT+1 watriler http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=23#comment12 Flexibility is the key for people especially older workers. Part retirement, 'paid' voluntary work. A new SERPs would help as certainly the private sector is progressively abolishing pensions. Immigrants on fixed term care work visas may also help developing countries. How about government assisted emmigration to countries where there would be low cost support of older people and where the climate is healthier? Thu 30 Apr 2009 08:48:31 GMT+1 ikamaskeip http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=21#comment11 No argument with the idea of removing an upper retirement age subject to the proper practises being in place for determining the person's mental and physical fitness is appropriate to the work they are required to do.Completely opposed to the idea of people being made to work beyond the present normal 65 age-limit for retirement except where in the interests of equality it raises the female age to that of males, i.e. 65: This Pensionable Age no longer needs to be manadatory but should be the optional age limit. 65 has already been abandoned for no good reason in my opinion. The economic arguments that too many people in the UK are approaching or are in the 65 Pensioners age-bracket are very largely spurious:It is the Pension Contributions of those in Employment that need to be altered and the Compulsory element should also be at a higher scale and applicable to all Adults. "..we could import young people.. pay for our elderly.. immigration.." This is a totally unreasonable and unreasoned idea! The pressure on UK Society from such 'economic migrants' has already demonstrated its disadvantage far outweigh advantages (see below). It has absolutely no Economic foundation to it: Are you sure Mr Easton anyone actually suggested it, or, was it the mutterings of some junior clerk hurrying by?There must be a rigorous tightening of Collection of Contributions with the 'money-in-hand' payments so prevalent in certain labour intensive occupations and especially in recent years since the EU cross-border influxes of itinerant workers (another EU inspired economic disaster fraudulently labelled as a success by Brussels and the UK Government): Whether these people and/or their families remain in the UK or not they should be made to pay for the privilege of being in and benefitting from the UK Economy. There are studies that show this 'black market' economy is costing the UK Exchequer upwards of 6 billion per annum in lost Revenues. The 'British jobs For Britons' campaign/complaint can be seen in a very different light when the 'Revenue losses' are taken into account.There should also be considerable effort to reduce the fraudulent Claims on Pensions and Benefit rights of Citizens from overseas and their dependents who are in temporary employment in or on behalf of the UK (needless to say, membership of the EU precludes such measures and is yet one more of numerous reasons a finite UK with finite resources should withdraw from this ridiculous one-size-fits-all body asap). In my time as an economist I did read of 2 (I'm unsure which University Depts it was, perhaps, LSE?) studies/proposals for Pension/National Insurance Contributions to be made from the moment a Child reached School Age; the basic gist of the idea being that 'every Parent (i.e. Males as well as Mums) and the State would pay into a National Savings Fund in the name of the Children. Every Parent would therefore be taking some Financial responsibility for the future Welfare of offspring they had - - quite what would be done about feckless, ignorant under-age parents of both sexes I don't know (but would suggest they be made to pay an additional sum from their Wages or their Benefits into the system once of Working Age; who knows it could reduce underage/unprotected sex) - - the State would also contribute and this would include Taxation monies taken from those who were childless (which every non-parent could claim from when reaching 65..). The system/process was never formally set-out so far and I heard nothing more after the initial ideas were broached and presumably they were deemed either too costly to start-up, impractical, or an imposition the electorate would not understand/vote for. As for the views on 'career progression' being adversely affected it seems everyone is predicting 6, 7, 8 changes of occupation during the normal lifetime employment-span of an adult entering the employment arena in the modern world, so, exactly which 'career' is being jepoardised? Presumably no one is suggesting the geriatric surgeon, fireman or circus knife-throwing act and therefore it is only 'jobs' not professional-longterm occupations under threat from the aged staying in situ beyond their legitimate years! The mind boggles at the 65 year old Police Constable persuing the 16 year old mugger! Through long experience the UK Government, Trade Unions, Health Services, and Citizens came to the view that 65 was a reasonable moment in the time of any normal person to begin a slower pace of life. Nothing has changed about that; all the evidence is to the contrary. It is false economics that is the driving force for a radical change which will rebound within only 20 to 30 years on UK Society if the elderly population are made to work beyond a feasible, sensible limit. Thu 30 Apr 2009 08:42:44 GMT+1 Spiny Norman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=19#comment10 If compulsory retirement is abolished then working on will soon become necessary to survive economically. Pensions will decline to the point where part-time employment at least will be necessary until we drop.In a similar case, one of the results of women going out to work was that double-income families forced house prices up to the point where only those families could afford them. This effectively forced women out to work.It's all part of the old Marxist insight that, in real terms, the labour force gets paid precisely what is needed to reproduce itself and no more.This may be what creates the feeling that everything is either forbidden or compulsory. To those who want to abolish compulsory retirement, I would say "be careful what you wish for". Thu 30 Apr 2009 08:39:53 GMT+1 AdamSmith57 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=17#comment9 Can we have a health warning on the graph? There's a discontinuity on the x-axis that has been put in to make the gap more dramatic than it is. Thu 30 Apr 2009 08:39:44 GMT+1 Skylark01 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=15#comment8 In reply to Brian_NE37.I work in the public sector and contribute over £300 per month to my pension and have contributed for some 20 years. The final salary I will receive from the public coffers is SUBSTANTIALLY less than if I had contributed to a private scheme and I will have to continue working for 5 years longer. Please, Would all the moaners about public sector pensions get their facts right. Private sector workers could have the same benefits if they contributed equally and yes I have worked in the private sector for quite a few years. Thu 30 Apr 2009 07:32:00 GMT+1 quiteOpinionated http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=13#comment7 My grandparents are at the age of 75, still working hard as they have been all their lives. They can sustain themselves off of making translations for the government. They believe that working makes you feel younger and they really do enjoy it. Why can't an older person share their abilities and teach younger people some tricks of the trade. Whatever that trade may be, they are beneficial still to our society and I think the above proposition made by Mark Easton is not far fetched.As long as we are alive, we share part of our live's experiences with different people. That is what it means to nurture and be part of a community. Whether it is helping someone to understand how to grow crops, how to write books more effectively, to help charity organizations, to help the environment, to be part of a community that stimulates sports, to record life stories and produce theories. One way or another whether you are 60 or 10 you have something to give. I want to have life in me still at 70, to still be able to stimulate those around me in a positive way and to contribute to society. I would never want to be a burden. Even if I was suffering from a disease, I would probably record the things that I am experiencing to help science in order to help others who may befall the same fate. Thu 30 Apr 2009 06:04:01 GMT+1 krazykaju http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=11#comment6 Allowing "retirees" to work would also help in economic growth, tax revenues, and overall productivity. Imagine thousands of very successful managers small businesses being forced into retirement. Now imagine the millions of products, profits, and higher wages not made because of this. Wed 29 Apr 2009 22:54:08 GMT+1 delminister http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=9#comment5 yippe for the grey vote that this government may well use to survive any election.if they drop retirement age rule dont you think this will affect the job market damaging any chances of the younger element obtaining fruitfull work.if the government drops the regulation it will be yet another attack on the british populus stripping away age old ideals once backed by their forebares. Wed 29 Apr 2009 22:23:26 GMT+1 DeniseCullum222 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=7#comment4 I have worked since I was fifteen and do not want to go to work again I like writting to the BBC I am really into it I feel I can improve the thing. If people want to work till they drop let them it is supposed to be a free country never believed it myself, but fleecing people of their money is an British trait like the weather always with us and cold and grey usually. This working till you drop is for the befit of those who do not work like the Govenment who sit at a desk taking tripe usually how to make sure that the people below them work so that they the chosen ones get big pensions I noticed Maxwell did not take PM pensions of to Israel we all know were the money went.In fact they get rewarded for scamming of those who pay their wage and whom they are supposed to serve England is full of middle class men who spend life making up jobs that involves little or none manuel labour these days men used to get dirty and really earn their wage now we are all sudo middle class and like clean hands and gambling with other peoples money and moaning when its lost its not my fault. We were made of better stuff we messed up we were made to suffer so we did not do it again. Give the work to the young so they get experiance and pay them a living wage so they can grow up and have a life and stop living of their parents which is a very middle class trait. Wed 29 Apr 2009 20:47:21 GMT+1 Joan Olivares http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=5#comment3 The airline pilot who recently landed his plane on the Hudson was days from his retirement. One thing older people do for the work force is show up on time, and management is usually more unbiased towards their employees. There are a lot of untrained managers and workers that make work so unpleasant and hostile that the best workers end up leaving. This is a death blow to companies because they ignore the culture of their workplace. If management is weak and the workplace is hostile and disorganized, older, more experienced, intelligent workers won't stay. Sometimes older management is better because they cut through all the drama. That's not to say that there aren't great younger workers too. Both are needed to balance each other. Wed 29 Apr 2009 19:49:46 GMT+1 urtlescurtle http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=3#comment2 Why shouldn't pensioners be free to top up their pensions if they want to (and can find) work? Professionals (including government ministers) are not shy of topping up their salaries, allowances and pensions with extra income are they? Wed 29 Apr 2009 18:33:27 GMT+1 clemred http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=1#comment1 l think retirement should be at 60.it will give a change to the mill,s that are on the dole,and sooner the better for me that they bring the retirement down to 60 l am 59. Wed 29 Apr 2009 18:16:05 GMT+1 Brian_NE37 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/04/is_it_time_to_abolish.html?page=0#comment0 One step at a time! How about first removing the pensions apartheid that allows many public sector employees to retire on good pensions at 55 or 60 whilst the private sector must soldier on towards a much poorer or non-existent pension? Wed 29 Apr 2009 18:06:29 GMT+1