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Should there be a fixed age of retirement?

10:43 UK time, Wednesday, 16 June 2010

France's retirement age will be raised from 60 to 62 over the next eight years. At what age do you want to retire?

French labour minister Eric Woerth says working longer is "inevitable" and necessary to balance the public finances.

The change is likely to be met with stiff resistance from labour unions, and has already sparked strikes and protests in France with more expected in the coming months.

In the UK the coalition government has also announced a review of the retirement age, they want to see the age in the UK rise from 65 to 66 from 2016.

Would you protest against a raised retirement age? Are you already retired but would prefer to work? Will working longer help balance public finances?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.


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  • Comment number 1.

    No there should not, unless of course there are suitable pension arrangements.
    Living in the Uk with a time of severe austerity about to happen, and being one of the original "Baby Boomers" I expect to have to work until at least 68 if allowed to get enough just to scrape by.
    Disgusting state of affairs after paying Insurance for 50 years, the UK state pension is actually less in real terms than that of Romania!

  • Comment number 2.

    By the time I reach retirement it will probably be around the 70 or 75 year mark. I accept that and am happy to do so. Retirement at 60 or 62 when people are living on to the age of 80 on a regular basis makes no sense. I'm 22 just about to start a professional engineering career.

  • Comment number 3.

    What is the point of allowing us poor live longer in Britain. We are taxed to the hilt with little to show in the way of both in National and local government services. It will be work til you drop, no chance of having any enjoyment in life as we are and worked to death. The only people who have access to a fairer way of life are the elite bankers and politicans who don't live in the real world. It won't be long before they re-introduce the poor houses.

  • Comment number 4.

    to be honest, this is just tinkering at the edges. Most European economies are in such a parlous state that anyone under the age of 50 will find that there will be no pension for them when the do retire, whatever the age is. Pensions are a massive Ponzi scheme and we are coming to the time when it falls down.

    Everyone will just have to get used to the idea of working for life.

  • Comment number 5.

    I wanted to retire at 60. I'm now 62 and the prospects of my retiring before 65 are minimal. The reason? I'm self employed and my pensions and other savings are in the toilet as a result of incompetence by bankers and regulators.

    So to answer your question, there should be no compulsory retirement age and no cast iron pensions in the public or private sectors - the rest of us can't afford to pay for them. Everyone should have a personal pension and retire when they can afford it.

    And to encourage people to save in pensions the government needs to remove the necessity to buy a rip off annuity, just ring fence the fund until death when it should pass to our children. Annuity providers are stitching us up - we should be able to live on the interest!

  • Comment number 6.

    i shall retire in eighteen mounths time after nearly fifty years repairing anything with an engine i have had enough

  • Comment number 7.

    when would I like to retire? as soon as possible thanks. Too bad I'm 43 so that may be longer than I'd like

  • Comment number 8.

    I am self employed so I continue to work in order to maintain a reasonably decent lifestyle. A car is a necessity, I do not have central heating or holidays but all in all I am quite happy.
    No-one should be forced to retire if they are fit and capable of continuing to work.
    For those who argue that young people will fill the gap left by a retired person, possibly so but in some cases they would not have the skills, qualifications or experience to carry out the same job, this is especially the case with very small businessess.

  • Comment number 9.

    Before anyone else points it out, how lucky the French are that they can still retire at way under the UK retirement age.

    Don't worry - we'll keep pumping a million an hour into the EU to support them!

  • Comment number 10.

    As long as I am sane and healthy I will be keeping active. Perhaps not as intense as a younger workforce but definitely keep working in good capacity as much as I can in the future.

    Retirement doesn't mean stopping everything on the work and income front, it should be a continous change and transition of attitudes. And with inflation only going to get higher and higher, it is also wise to keep earning as long as you can so that you can truly enjoy the freedom of retirement without worrying about bills and keeping yourself afloat, when one does give in to the constraints of the ageing body and/or mind eventually.

  • Comment number 11.

    I'm already resigned to working until I drop.

    As a cash cow for the government, I know my place! After all they dont actually expect me to get anything back for all the taxes I have paid and will continue to pay......

  • Comment number 12.

    Our company scheme recently raised the retirement age from 60 to 65. I would like to retire today but can't afford to so, health and performance permitting, I will be working until the day before my 65th birthday. Since both my parents are over 80 I have a reasonable expectation of a long retirement.

  • Comment number 13.

    Two things here, firstly raising the retirement age has nothing to do with whether or not you are actually capable of working. It's all about giving the government more money as they don't have to pay out so much in pensions if they don't have to do it until you're older. On top of that there's also more likelihood you'd die before you're entitled. Double whammy for the govt then.

    In reality we should be able to retire from work any time we wish. There's nothing wrong with the current age of 65. Obviously it's worked for a number of years and is, as I said above, down to when you would receive your state pension. However, If I choose to retire early that's on the basis of me being able to afford it. Or if I choose to retire later because I happen to enjoy my job rather than hating it as many people seem to, then that's also my choice, but I don't get my state pension until I do as I'm still earning and obviously don't need it.

    Most company pension schemes I've had over the years ask when I intend to retire so there's no barrier there. If you retire early you just get less money that's all. As it's your money and you've paid into it I don't see why that should be any different.

  • Comment number 14.

    As the right wing economists are now in the driving seat where government policy is concerned, I would expect that a fixed retirement age will disappear. We will return to the situation that existed before 1906, the working class will work until they drop, the middle classes will build up a pension fund(subject to the machinations of the financial services industry) and the rich will carry on as they always have.
    Like many people I suspect, I was bilked through the endowment mortgage scam, saw my AVC for my pension disappear into the ether through the market crash in the '90s and am now seeing my pension prediction being downgraded annually thanks to the bank created credit crunch.
    We are now faced with a bunch of unelected multi-millionaires telling us 'the cuts are going to change our way of life forever', 'we are entering an age of austerity' and the most sickening, 'this will affect us all'.
    I don't want to end up like that San Francisco Transport Authority cleaner who is still working at 83(no pension), only had one day off(his wife's funeral when he was 78). I fear that is what this coalition has in store for the rest of us.

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    I would like to retire at 55 but with the state of my pension it will be hard. It does make me mad that the goverment want to put up age to 66 so I will have stay on an extra year to pay for people with public sector pensions so they can retire in their early 50s. My friend has just retired on his public sector(navy) pension at 46 even he thinks its wrong.

  • Comment number 17.

    Maybe an official retirement age should be left to the individual. Anytime from 60 onwards sounds about right. Of course your pension would then have to reflect the amount of contributions you made into the Nations coffers.

    In my opinion too many men and women work on even though they have failing health and end up dying before enjoying a few work free years at the end of their lives.

    My husband and I tried to make sure that this would not happen to him. We spent years living frugally so that when he reached 62 he could sit back and watch the grass grow. He is a changed man and has never regretted that decision for one moment.

    Why should hard working people be expected to work on just so that the government has enough money to pay out for workshy youngster's benifits? Once you have served your time as a tax payer you deserve to enjoy lifes rewards.

  • Comment number 18.

    As a public service worker whose pension is about to be attacked with a stanley knife; If retirement will mean poverty, I'd rather work till I drop dead than retire at all.

  • Comment number 19.


  • Comment number 20.

    The things I dislike about the current system are the quaint notion that one size fits all and the elements of compulsion.
    The system was constructed in an age of mass-employment in one, fixed career, lower life-expectancy and no foreign work.
    The system does not cater well for women who had a family, the divorced, the long-lived and the frugal. The people who benefit most from this system spend what they have when they have it, have no family and simple careers. How many people is that?
    Some people want to work till they drop - I say let them - it gives them the validation they need. Some people want to get out of the rat race - I say let them - but knowing they get smaller benefits. Some work on short-term contracts and have long holidays - let them! More rules and more compulsion is just going to make a bad system a little bit better.

  • Comment number 21.

    I don't see why there should be a fixed age of retirement.

    What there does need to be (for practical reasons) is an age where the state pension (or other defined benefit pensions) come into play. But that's it. The state pension does not have to be directly related to retirement at all.

  • Comment number 22.

    I think that as long as pensions are sufficient people should retire.

    Theres almost 3 million unemployed in this country and I would prefer tax money go into better pensions than paying younger people unemployment benefits.

    Retirement aged people have done their bit and younger people need the jobs - its logical.

    I hope to retire before I'm 55.

  • Comment number 23.

    I quit like the French system where you have to work a certain number of years before you get your pension. It means your retirement age depends on your working history not just your age and that's how it should be.

  • Comment number 24.

    No, I don't think there should be a fixed age. There obviously has to be a minimum age at which the state pension can be paid - I think 65 is OK. I certainly don't think the govt should be raising it!

    I'm about to venture into self-employment at the age of 54 - fed up of being a wage slave - so I'll be working until I make enough dosh to make working unnecessary. Even then I'll probably not sell the business but employ a manager, just in case.

  • Comment number 25.

    In as much as there needs to be an accepted age at which one CAN retire with defined benefits (state pension) and this should reflect an independent trend (such as efficiency at work, health problem likelihood or similar), there must be a recognised retirement age. Self-employed can work as far beyond this as they wish. Employed individuals should have to have a mandated health-check (for all occupations including law judges and politicians) to prove their fitness to continue in work. And we must remember that every "grey" who carries on working removes a slot for a younger person to take up. If we get back to a lifelong work ethic then promotion really does become dead man's shoes.

    I personally want to retire at age 67, just as my wife reaches 65 and for us to enjoy a bit of life before we end up having the long sleep.

  • Comment number 26.

    Work for as long as you need to ensure a decent standard of living for your retirement. Don't rely on Government pensions or handouts - it may not be there by the time you need it. Look after yourself and sort your own pension out.

    I'm 55, retired and I will never go back to work. I'm not lucky, just prudent, thrifty and hardworking.

  • Comment number 27.

    I'm 40. I have no problem with a fixed retirement date so long as it is supported by a good pension to enable retirement to take place. Unfortunately, private sector employers want to be able to get rid of staff when they get old but are not prepared to offer the same standards of pension provision as the public sector employers do. As the saying goes, you can't have your cake and eat it! The poor pension provision in the UK is a real timebomb. My company has pulled the DB scheme and replaced it with a DC one. They pay in half the contributions into the DC scheme than they did into the DB one. I've upped my contributions from 6% to 12% (not easy in the current climate) but the projected income from the pension is half what I would have got in the old scheme. Yet my company will still want me out of the door at 62. I don't want to work until I drop and I want to give a chance to younger people to have good employment but until I am either paid enough to save a really good nest egg or have a really good pension then it's work until I can't work no more. The current costs of living coupled with the low wages in the UK for skilled staff outside of the South East means I can't maintain a reasonable standard of living consummate with my income and save enough to enable an earlyish retirement. Sad, isn't it. All those years of study, college, Uni etc and my salary has fallen in real terms for the past 3 years. I'm sure people will moan that I should save even more but I consider a personal 12% accrual into a pension plus SAYE,regular savings etc are enough. And I'm not some private sector mega earner before you public sector mob start howling. I'm just about paying higher rate tax, but only just.

  • Comment number 28.

    Yes! and...NO!
    Yes the government should set an age limit regarding when a person is considered at an age to receive a pension...
    No...if it means that person is forced into retirement...
    Some may be financially be able to retire at say 65 and have no worries for the years ahead...some may not and thus in obtaining a state pension may still have to do some work to ensure stability...some may be self-employed and thus running a steady business that employs others - are they to be forced to retire and put others out of work...not everyone can run a business...
    perhaps it may mean that should someone be receiving income from work over 65 as in being fully employed...then the government may need to look to postpone their pension or perhaps pay a lower pension...
    The individual needs options to retire at any age of 50 onwards, whether it be full retirement or part-retirement...People that have to retire due to ill-health or possible certain disabilities are exceptional cases and should not be penalised for not being able to work...
    This problem will not go away, but needs looking at and also reviewing on a parliamentary five year basis to ensure that the individual, the taxpayer as well as the treasury are not being treated shabbily...

  • Comment number 29.

    . At 11:50am on 16 Jun 2010, mechanicalartist wrote:
    By the time I reach retirement it will probably be around the 70 or 75 year mark. I accept that and am happy to do so. Retirement at 60 or 62 when people are living on to the age of 80 on a regular basis makes no sense. I'm 22 just about to start a professional engineering career.

    If your after a decent salary then don't bother. Engineering and science are way way down on the salary lists. Try working in media instead.

  • Comment number 30.

    Retired at 65.
    Very pleased to have done so.
    The state pension is a lot more than expected!
    A very satisfactory state of affairs after a lifetime of graft.

    If you are fit and enjoying work and society - work on - for some retire and die is the order of things, so freedom of choice is vital.

    Our country cannot afford current benefit payments, we are all going to have less money, whether that comes about from increased retirement age, inflation or higher prices, our efforts to feather our retirement bed will will cost more in effort and time.

    The government is feretting around for the course of least resistance, but there are a multitude of ways savings could be made - if I can think of them, I'm sure the treasury can.

  • Comment number 31.

    I will work until I need to stop or want to stop, I work for myself and plan to retire on the proceeds but this is only relevent if the UK economy enables me to be successful and doesnt eat up all my earnings/profits in increasing living costs, taxes and inflation etc.

    If my lifetimes efforts were seriously damaged to an extent that my planned pension fund devalued and become much less viable worth, then I will just plan to spend my remaining years in better comfort in prison.


  • Comment number 32.

    At 22, I fully expect to be working well into my 70's. With life expectancy going up all the time, there is no way I expect any governemnt to fork out for latter 20-30 years of my life. As soon as I am eligible within the next few months I will start contributing to my compnay pension scheme, and expect to contribute into a pension fund until the day I retire. If I can't afford it, I won't retire.

    I think it should be compulsory for everyone when they start work (or have been in one job for 3months) tro have to contribute to a private pension scheme, at a minimum of 3% of their salary. This would encourage people to take responsibility of their own futures, and not rely on the state to provide when they retire.

  • Comment number 33.

    I support raising the retirement age given that people are living longer these days than when it was introduced. However the fact that people live longer doesn't mean they're more capable at any given age, a 67 year old with arthritis shouldn't be forced to stack shelves or risk losing getting JSA! In addition I think it's only fair that some people who are genetically predisposed to die younger be allowed to retire at a younger age (for a lower pension).

    And aren't the French lucky to be able to retire at 60 currently? I bet that frees up some jobs for the younger people, who are finding it hard in this country to get a job as there aren't enough to go around.

  • Comment number 34.

    I do not think that there should an age where you are FORCED to retire if you are capable of doing a job the day before you hit THIS SPECIAL NUMBER is plain STUPID. I would like to have the PERSONAL CHOICE when I retire. Maybe at 65 or probably 66 which seems to be THE SPECIAL NUMBER I will want to continue working WHO KNOWS but if you have worked EVERY DAY SINCE you were 16 THEN the CHOICE SHOULD BE YOURS not a POLITICAL or even A COMPANY DECISION just YOURS you are the one who knows whether you WANT to continue to WORK. As for those who say the youth will not have jobs lets face it not all but a majority of the youth of this country HAVE NO SKILLS or INCLINATION TO WORK whilst they GET BENEFITS for LYING IN BED ALL DAY. Just a thought to all these companies and politicians WHAT WILL YOU DO WHEN THOSE OF US WHO HAVE EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS DO RETIRE god only knows what will happen to this ONCE GREAT COUNTRY OF OURS

  • Comment number 35.

    As a 30 year-old I will probably have to work for another 40 years before I get a state pension, and it will probably be worth very little. It is disgusting, given that I will be taxed so heavily during the 50 years at work, and will get nothing in return from the state when I am physically and mentally exhausted. There should be a compulsory savings scheme, whereby people would have a small lump sum deducted at source and paid into a retirement account that they would not be allowed to draw from until they reach 65. Then at least they would have some support later on in life, albeit their own money, and will thank the government for forcing them to save.

  • Comment number 36.

    With the huge 'churn' in employment it is increasingly unlikey that most of us will actually retire from active employment. More likely that next job after redundancy / end of contract work, will become impossible to find after a certain age (and here I fear anyone over 50 will already be having problems).

    We do however need a fixed age for the state pension - just don't keep changing it.

  • Comment number 37.

    No there should not be a fixed retirement age. There should be an age before which you are not able to draw your pension, which should be 70. For those of us who have pensions that depend on the vaugeries of the financial industrie's ineptitude beyond feathering their own nest, it will be impossible to retire with a modest income before the age of 70.

  • Comment number 38.

    If and when I retire it will not be in Britain. What is the point of working hard for decades, paying an astonishing rate of tax each year not to mention national insurance then being forced into selling my home and losing my savings to pay in excess of £1000 per week for care. I wouldnt mind so much if the carers received a proper wage as opposed to the naked exploitation that seems to be happening now.

    That said, there should not be an age for fixed retirement.

  • Comment number 39.

    I'm 51 and would retire tomorrow if I could afford it! It is depressing for a lot of people around my age to see the pension age slipping ever further away, pension schemes being tightened up or closed and expected pensions being reduced. It feels like my generation are being forced back to a work until you drop situation!

  • Comment number 40.

    9. At 12:02pm on 16 Jun 2010, chiptheduck wrote:
    Before anyone else points it out, how lucky the French are that they can still retire at way under the UK retirement age.

    Don't worry - we'll keep pumping a million an hour into the EU to support them!

    Chip the duck - please refrain form spouting ignorance about the EU on the forum - the EU does not subsidise France's domestic budget anymore than it does the UK's and France is one of the Net contributors of the EU, so pays in more than it gets.

  • Comment number 41.

    There shouldnt be a forced retirement because some people enjoy working all their lives. Some people cant afford to retire and that is something that should change. There should be an age limit where a person with a number of years working (exclude the usual health issues, I mean people who can work) which is a lot of encouragement for people to get jobs. Obviously this requires the gov frees up some jobs but then that is a different topic

  • Comment number 42.

    Yes- and it will probably need to be increased in the very near future.

    It should be higher for women as they live longer than men. That would seem fair.

    I don't think anyone should get any old age pension unless they have paid an employed or self-employed NI stamp for 35 years. That would stop scrounging laybaouts graduating from Job Seekers allowance to a pension.

  • Comment number 43.

    I fully expect the retirement to be 70 or above by the time I get there (45 at the moment). It should be no surprise really.

    Whe the State Pension first came into existance you could recieve one at 70, but the average age of death was about 54.

    With the average age of death now in the 80's it should come as no surprise to anyone that the current pension system is unaffordable (even taking into account the shocking way in which bank have behaved recently and the way the last government effectively took all the money from the pensions schemes of everyone)

  • Comment number 44.

    I would not care about a retirement age if the work place was not such a hateful experience - whether in schools, hospitals, factories and universities. Most people retire to escape the sheer drudgery of work.

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    How about no fixed retirement age? Entirely possible if there is NO STATE PENSION.

    Self provision is inevitable; it really is only about how painful the state makes it along the way.

  • Comment number 47.

    As there are many people who want to work longer, it should be made illegal for employers to force retirement at a specific age - only when the person is unable to do their job effectively. That would save the country a lot of money.

  • Comment number 48.

    Yes. We get the picture. Work till we drop. And if we survive the rich who govern this country will suggest euthanasia for the elderly infirm. And they will do this by instructing the BBC to keep putting HYS discussions on dignified death. Come to think of it we have not seen any lately. So come on - after screwing us on our pensions what about a final solution for the 'useless eaters'?

  • Comment number 49.

    No-one should be compelled to retire against their wishes, unless their usefulness has come to an end. There are plenty, I'm sure, in their 60s and 70s who still have a great deal to offer, not least their worldly experience.

    People often complain that they have to carry on working because they "can't afford to retire". Well, no, in many cases, they would find it difficult to live just on the state pension at age 65. But there again, those same people usually squandered what they should have saved on holidays abroad, entertainments, fancy cars, cigarettes and alcohol and various other luxuries. You can't have it both ways.

    If the public were better educated on saving for retirement throughout their working life, they could stop work when they feel like it. Having a pension with an insurance company, however, is a sure way of throwing money down the drain. There are other, better, means of saving for retirement, but many are unaware of them.

  • Comment number 50.

    I am already retired for some time now so I know what I'm talkiing about. Statutory retirement or ideed the word 'retirement' itself is a grossly misused expression - principally by those who have no idea what it is like to 'retire'. The promotion of 'happy retirement' is propogated by those who wish to 'make room' for new employees or to reduce their wage overheads. To me, retirement is joining a 'new tribe' and keeping many younger people employed in telling me how to 'enjoy' my retirement. Abolish the whole thing altogether and let people make their own mind up when they have had enough of working and when they have enough put aside to really' enjoy' retirement!

  • Comment number 51.

    My intention is to retire at 60, that's 10 years off. The planning is well in hand, thank you, so that all debts (including mortgage) will be paid off... and then it's away to a Greek island to vegetate gently in the sun.

    I've worked hard and paid taxes happily, and expect to be defrauded by government mismanagement of the money entrusted to them for the sole purpose of providing the services citizens cannot provide for themselves. I don't aim on permitting them to interfere in my plans, however. If they fail - as I expect - to meet their obligations and responsibilities, so what? I'll survive.

  • Comment number 52.

    I'd love to have work now.

    But with age discrimination and a big recession, I have 16 years of benefits to look forward to and very poor pension rights.

  • Comment number 53.

    Working longer is not inevitable. There have been enormous increases in productivity over the last few centuries and the real economy requires us to work for fewer years, not more. The difficulty that anyone over 50 has in finding a job, is evidence provided by the market which confirme this fact.

    The French Minister is making the woefully common mistake of regarding the public finances as the most important indicator. Right wing governments throughout Europe are making basically the same mistake in fiscal policy. This will ensure a long lasting slump, as similar policies did in the 1930s. Most people, over 60, will find that it will be impossible to find a worthwhile job.

    The needs of the real economy must be considered first and taxation used to balance public and private finances accordingly. The main problem is the lack of any effective wealth tax which could be used to reduce the very large wealth gap, which is an inevitable consequence of free market policies.

  • Comment number 54.

    When the first pensions were introduced, the recipients would usually live for about 2 -3 years past retirement age and this was what the pension was expected to cover.

    Many now live 20 - 30 years after retirement age and this means that pensions can never ever keep up with an ever increasing elderly population. This means that we need a radical rethink after the entire system and whether it is at all sustainable.

    A sensible government would raise retirement age to 70 and make it compulsory for everyone to contribute to their own pensions as they do in Australia but this alone will not solve the crisis that is rapidly approaching.

    For this reason, it is entirely logical and ethical to legalise euthanasia so that those who wish to be assisted to end their own lives can be allowed to do so.

  • Comment number 55.

    Should there be a fixed age of retirement?
    No. People are different, have different circumstances; mandatory retirement can cause stress, financial hardship, even divorce (I didn't realize I couldn't stand my wife!).
    Retirement is not something that should be imposed.
    Rather, there should be a minimum age at which workers can retire IF they so choose and/or a length of service after which they can retire if they so choose e.g. Retirement at 70 OR after 40 years continuous service.
    I am retired; I retired after 25 years' service, which made me comparatively young.
    The problem with French Labour Minister, Eric Woerth's logic (working longer is "inevitable" and necessary to balance the public finances) is that technology changes, economic circumstances change...and while the older folk are clinging to their jobs, the younger folks are not getting the experience and skills they need to be gainfully employed.
    An innovative approach is needed - something like: The older worker declares his desire to retire. He does this as far in advance as possible. He assists human resources to hire the right sort of replacement worker; the older worker than trains the replacement worker to replace him. Once the replacement is fully trained (tested and monitored), older worker gets to retire.
    I don't believe that it is right that we should have to work, be legislated to work, until our dying day or until we are too sick and stressed to smell the roses.
    As far as solutions: People need to get outside the box. Create new & different solutions instead of pressing the same old buttons and expecting to get new answers.

  • Comment number 56.

    I didn't think it would be long before people started on about public sector pensions - getting them free, retiring in their early 50s etc etc.

    Just to get rid of some of the inaccuracies people believe:

    Public Sector workers pay on average 7% of their income into their pensions every month. This percentage is increased for higher earners.

    The retirement age in the public sector is 65 and if someone wishes to retire before that age, they have to pay a severe financial penalty to do so (and also need permission to leave and claim their pension early - they can retire at any age but their public sector pension will only kick in when they are 65).

    I'm a public sector worker - my pension aged 65 is currently estimated at £12,000 a year after paying in 30 years of contributions. I currently pay in about £1750 a year - (not making adjustments for inflation, pay changes etc) this amounts to an equivalent contribution of £52,500 during those 30 years.

  • Comment number 57.

    A few points are forgotten ...

    1. Working is very good for you. It keeps you both physically fitter and more mentally aware longer into your life.

    2. The retirement age of 65 would have initially been brought in when life expectancy was much lower. Now that people are living longer lives, the retirement age should match it.

    3. Britain (and many other European countries) has as aging population (average age) and it is getting harder for the fewer young people to pay for the increasing elderly populations.

    I would suggest that people enter a 'semi-retirement' at 65 years old whereby you continue the same job but work half the hours before complete retirement at 75. Simple.

  • Comment number 58.

    I think it should be compulsory for everyone when they start work (or have been in one job for 3months) tro have to contribute to a private pension scheme, at a minimum of 3% of their salary. This would encourage people to take responsibility of their own futures, and not rely on the state to provide when they retire.

    Bad Hair Bear

    Contrary to popular belief (or Tory scaremongering) local government workers pay more than double that percentage towards their pension and anyone under 50 will retire at 65 - if their jobs haven't been lost to pay those elite public sector workers - the bankers - yet more bonuses of course!

  • Comment number 59.

    For men and women to have different set retirement ages is surely sexism.

    But what I don't understand is this - why are women allowed to retire 5 years earlier than men? When on average a woman can expect to live say 5 years longer?

    I certainly don't want to be on my last legs when I retire. But I suppose there is one "god-send"... My wife will hit retirement 9 years before I will!

  • Comment number 60.


  • Comment number 61.

    The retirement age has to go up, it's simple economics. Either that or means test the state pension - which is profoundly unfair on those who have been fortunate enough to have a private or occupational pension.

    We have an enormous generation of people approaching retirement - the so called baby boomers. They're the first generation to have benefit from a lifetime of public sector healthcare, so they are in far better health than any generation before. Life expectancy has risen since the establishment of the NHS from around 60 to over 80 years old for people who were born in the late 40s and early 50s.

    The sheer number of people set to become eligible for the state pension in the next few years is staggering. If you believe figures produced a few years ago by the ONS only half the country's population will be in the available workforce by the year 2025, the rest will be either retired, incapacitated in some way or in school/university. Something seriously has to be done to limit the impact of this financial timebomb.

    Those decrying public sector pensions have a (reasonably fair) point. I'm currently paying into a public sector scheme (6.5% of my salary) which hopefully will allow me to retire at 65 - there are severe financial penalties if you retire before that age. I'm one of the generation who'll already have to wait until I'm 68 to get a state pension (if it still exists in 37 years). Sadly the private sector pensions were decimated when businesses resisted attempts to force the pension funds to be administered idependently; businesses then wouldn't have been able to pillage the profits made by the pension fund for their shareholders. My parents occupational pensions have been seriously impacted by years of underinvestment by their employers. Yay capitalism.

    I've already seen several comments whingeing about National Insurance contributions - the old "I've paid so I'm entitled" brigade is out in force. However NI contributions are (and were established over 100 years ago to be) used by the government of the day to pay for the CURRENT old age pensioners. There is no magical pot of cash stowed away to one side for Mr. Joe Bloggs of Cheltenham. It's just not the way National Insurance works.

    If we were to move to individual pension pots, who would be responsible for managing them? What would happen if 'returns' on invesments were poor? Is that just part of the risk you assume when you get into such a scheme?

    There are all sorts of things that need to be looked at before any fundamental changes are made to the pensions system. However it is certain that the whole scheme will come crashing down if nothing is done. Barring some miraculous economic boom to solve all the governments woes, of course.

  • Comment number 62.

    There should be a fixed age when the State Pension should be payable, and that age in my view should be 65 for both men and women. That said those in pension schemes should be permitted to retire from age 60 should they desire and if they can afford the reduction in income from their pension pots were they to so choose.

    No one should be compelled to retire at any age but may be forced to give up work on health grounds, where their fitness for any particular jobn is prejuudiced by ill health, weakness or loss or sight or sound. Those who must give up work do to any such disability would not be considered "retired" until they reached the State Pension age when the unemployment/disbility living allowance would stop to be paid.

  • Comment number 63.

    I have heard that the age of retirement in the USA was set at age 65 in the 1930's because few would live that long and the tax to pay for retirement could be set very low. Now the retirement tax rate is; for many, higher than the income tax rate. Bump the retirement age to 75 and watch the cost go down .

  • Comment number 64.

    I think it's wrong that they want to retire later. What is the point in paying in for a comfortable retirement if you are not going to live long enough to enjoy it or make use of it. Especially seeing as once you've had it converted to fixed income bond thing you then lose the rest after you die. There is NO incentive to provide for it.

  • Comment number 65.

    I don't know about how the rest of you thinks but I do not want to work with people who's whole life revolves around work.

    I want to retire today (I'm 60). I know exactly what I want to do, what I want to see and where I want to go. I can't of course because I need to pay my mortgage and get as much saved up for when I can no longer work.

    People who want to work and keep the young on unemployment benefit while they wait for dead-mans-shoes are a menace.

    Here's my proposal. Do what they do in Japan, there executives retire and become directors of traffic and other public orientated jobs.

    If I could afford it I would retire today and become a traffic warden, no don't laugh. I would really enjoy it and be a boon for society and the chancellor. I would ticket every 4 x 4 and BMW (even if they where moving).

  • Comment number 66.

    Your EUROPE'S RETIREMENT AGES table states: Germany 65: correct, but as of 2012 until 2029 the retirement age will increase by at least 1 month / year until ultimately a pension age of 67 is reached. As a german taxpayer I can only admire economies which function with sich a general retirement age of 60 -=> 62 as in France

  • Comment number 67.

    I retired at 60 when I became eligible for my main pension. At the time I was working for another company where I could have stayed on until 65. The work I did was, at times, very stressful and pressured and a chronic health problem meant that my last few years at work were, frankly, a struggle. I was very glad to retire.

    I had worked full time all my life, returning to full time work when both my children were 6 months old. Believe me being a wife, mother and full time worker was a hard slog and I was more than ready to retire.

    I did consider looking for a less stressful part time job, but as I have a decent pension it seemed selfish to take work away from a young person, student or wife and mother needing part time work to contribute to a mortgage and the cost of maintaining a family.

  • Comment number 68.

    "Should there be a fixed age of retirement?"

    Why? Because the french have one? Don't make me laugh!

  • Comment number 69.

    " I think it should be compulsory for everyone when they start work (or have been in one job for 3months) tro have to contribute to a private pension scheme, at a minimum of 3% of their salary. This would encourage people to take responsibility of their own futures, and not rely on the state to provide when they retire. "
    The minimum contribution should really be 10%(index linked), the problem is pension saving is a long term investment and as we have seen if left in the hands of the financial sector it is all too likely to be lost through their short term gain mindset.
    Frank Field proposed in the past that the State Pension should be replaced with a fully-funded personal pension scheme, you build your own fund up, the more you pay in the more you draw out at retirement. A person could plan their own retirement age and save accordingly.
    Sounds an interesting idea, there is a major flaw with this proposal, he suggests the pension savings be administered by the financial services sector. We have heard no more about this idea since the credit crunch.

  • Comment number 70.

    Should there be a fixed age of retirement?

    Absolutely not. People should not be forced to retire unless/until it can be demonstarted that they can no longer do their current job to the required standard.

  • Comment number 71.

    I have like many others in this country residen myself to the fact i will need to work until i am about 80 ish. As i do not have a pension plan in place, nor does my partner, terrible to think that in 2010 a household with an income of £48k cannot aford to pay into pensions,between having to pay silly money for a small flat and the train fares for work which is almost my morgage pymt we just cant afford to save or put anything into a pension.

    who knows maybe when we are 50ish and the mortgage is paid then we can think about it.

    Good old Britian

  • Comment number 72.

    No, people should not be forced to retire simply because they reach a certain age. If they can still do their job, then let them continue until they choose to retire. The important thing is that the country is able to fund the pensions it commits to paying out. This means increasing the age at which people are entitled to pension payments from the government. The public sector pensions also need to be brought in line with private sector pensions to prevent a two tier system where public sector pensioners benefit from generous pensions which most in the private sector can only dream of.

  • Comment number 73.

    No one ever thinks of manual workers of which my husband is one. He is 64 and riddled with arthritis. After a lifetime of hard manual work the government expect people like him to work until they drop dead.

    It is amazing that politicians who shine the backs of their trousers all day on an office chair and can retire early at 50 if so they so desire on gold plated pensions can also advocate how long someone will have to stand and lift heavy objects for many years longer than their health will stand. Still as long as the benefits claimants can still claim his tax money that's OK I presume!

  • Comment number 74.

    Politicians can keep banging on about "most people want to continue working" - but they're wrong; we don't! I started work at 16, unlike many graduates who don't start until they are well into their 20's - so I think I ought to be allowed to retire at 60. That is my plan, and I'm not going to let any fat cat chancellor stop me with his Capital Gains Tax, raising of pensions age, or risible talk of people being on the scrap heap when they retire. Scrap heap? Not me, matey! I'm off to greener, sunnier pastures and some other dynamic youngster can have my job. I expect he'll be as pleased as I am.

  • Comment number 75.

    An unintended consequence of raising the retirement age is that jobs will not be freed up as quickly for younger people to move into. Consequently we could see a generation of baby boomer parents continuing to have to work to support their children who themselves are unable to find work because their parents are blocking access to the employment market.

    The problem is that the baby boomer generation have become used to living an unsustainable, consumption-driven lifestyle on credit and now find they've got nothing in the bank to see them through their old age. Well, tough luck.

  • Comment number 76.

    New rules, new legislation, change this, chop that. Haven't we learned?
    What seems sensible today will be tomorrow's expensive fix. That's why we are in a mess.
    People's lives, careers, aspirations, health and finances have no similarity to the lives expected by the law-makers.
    And why should that stop now?
    Remove this nonsense of an arbitrary age (Why do men and women have different retirement ages in the 21st century?). The funds we contribute to are incredibly inefficient & loaded with legacy encumbrances. Having to give most of my pension pot to a fund yielding about 0.00001% after I retire which needs more and more to give less and less the older I get is insane.
    Its time we made the same leap from state reliance to private that we made in housing in the 80s. I'm not claiming the private sector is perfect, but it will allow people to make arrangements that suit themselves.

  • Comment number 77.

    There is a lot of moning and missinformation about pensions. The banking crisis is being used to push through a lot of policies which would never have stood a chance.

    There should not be a rush to the bottom. If those on priavte pensions are not happy they should be asking why their private employer took years of "pensions holidays" when they thought the times were good. The private pension crisis is a result of the private companies who avoided their responsibilitiies.

    It has nothing to do with public pensions.

    ALL pensions should look to improve standards not reduce them.

    Likewise it could be argues that you should be allowed to work forever. Choice.

    However would you want to work to 70 if you were a brickie or labourer? Indeed could you work until then? NOPE!

    An often forgetten aspect of this idea of higher pension ages is whether or not the it will reduce the number of jobs for young people. It is inevitable that if you stop the job cycle then there will be losers further down the line. So benefits will be needed to pay for those who will not get a job as a result of those who work forever.

    LASTLY in all this. What is Nick Cleggs pension. Indeed what are his benefits? He gets a MP wage (a not insignificant amount) and pension, He also get a ministerial wage and pensions and perks.

    So exactly how is this multi-millionaire priavte schoolboy qualified to lecture us on what is fair and unfair? HE is paid for by the taxpayer. Hypocrit.

  • Comment number 78.

    Since I'm struggling to get get work as an engineer at the age of 46 perhaps working to retirement age is a pipe dream in the UK. Anyway in Scotland the average healthy life expectancy is 68 years for a man. So I presume we are no longer of productive use and should be put out to pasture at that age until we die around 75 years. Alternatively remove retirement age and with continuous grinding down we should be able to squeeze a couple more years out the carcass before death. I know its different for self employed folk but my experience is that large employers start looking for ways to get rid of you once you reach 35 because you are costing them too much in experience related wages. The current trend in the computer sector of forcing people to take redundancy while moving the jobs to India is a prime example of the problem. Raising the retirement age will just mean shelf stacking jobs will become in great demand and probably require at least 3 degrees to get an interview.

  • Comment number 79.

    No. 56 ...Karen wrote I'm a public sector worker - my pension aged 65 is currently estimated at £12,000 a year after paying in 30 years of contributions. I currently pay in about £1750 a year - (not making adjustments for inflation, pay changes etc) this amounts to an equivalent contribution of £52,500 during those 30 years."

    According to your calculations your annual payments total of £52,000 into your pension have covered just 4 years of retirement benefits at £12,000 pa so where does the money come from when you are over 69 years or age ! This also does not I presume take into account your lump sum which you are allowed to take on retirement !

  • Comment number 80.

    Having a fixed retirement age is a joke. Someone who's spent the last 40 years working 12-hour shifts or working on building sites in all weathers will be lucky if they can last until they're 60.

    Raising the state pension age is just the first step to scrapping it altogether by basically saying to the manual working population they'll have to fend for themselves if they want to retire early.

  • Comment number 81.

    Everyone now expects to live until their 80s. And if they look after themselves properly and take responsibility for their health, there is no reason the average person cannot still be healthy, active and working well into their 70s. I expect to.
    Pensions were never designed to last 20 or 30 years, there were designed at a time when most people started work in their teens and almost everyone was dead by 70. A pension gave a few years of retired dignity at the end of a long working life. Now people study well into their 20s and expect to retire at 65. That is quite unsustainable. It's time we got real.
    Having said that, there must always be adequate provision for people who for some reason cannot work that long, the sick and infirm. But most of us can and should work to 70.

  • Comment number 82.

    47. At 1:11pm on 16 Jun 2010, Neil Williams wrote:
    As there are many people who want to work longer, it should be made illegal for employers to force retirement at a specific age - only when the person is unable to do their job effectively. That would save the country a lot of money.


    Not a bad idea. Plus, some people do not function well when they aren't productive. Why should we stop them? I think there should be a voluntary age of retirement at which time you can claim your pension if you choose.

    (That is, if there's any pension left for any of us)

  • Comment number 83.

    56. At 1:22pm on 16 Jun 2010, Karen wrote:

    I'm a public sector worker - my pension aged 65 is currently estimated at £12,000 a year after paying in 30 years of contributions. I currently pay in about £1750 a year - (not making adjustments for inflation, pay changes etc) this amounts to an equivalent contribution of £52,500 during those 30 years.

    With a rough calculation if that had been a private money purchase pension even with a generouse uplift to take into account inflation and investment returns you's be lucky to get an annuity of £6k in todays market.

  • Comment number 84.

    "The retirement age should be 50yrs, but thats a stupid pipe dream, with all the cuts in public services'and The unemployment rate in Wales, many young people wont have they first job at that age.

  • Comment number 85.

    I have always aimed to retire at 60. My first main pension will pay out from then (if there is any money left in it!) so I may well defer my current one until this company's retirement age (mid 60's) and just get a part time job and learn a new skill or craft on the other days I am free. I can't wait.
    I am fed up with the rat race, the greed of the public sector workers/unions/councils at my expense, the greed of the financial sector (also now at my expense) and all washed down with our unreliable and underfunded public transport system.
    Role on 2013....

  • Comment number 86.

    I don't think one should be completely dogmatic about retirement age; after all, occupations vary enormously in their demands on one's physical or intellectual capabilities.
    There are a few cases about which I'd be tempted to impose a chronological ceiling - surgeon, anaesthetist, commercial airline pilot, train driver, etc. - occupations upon which other people's lives have an immediate dependence.
    Were I a freelance Coronation Day souvenir salesman, I should expect to go on forever.

  • Comment number 87.

    Yes their should be a fixed age for retirement which in the UK should be 67 for men and women public and private sector, including MPs. However 62 is pretty low by international standards - too low for the French economy to support for sure.

    The reason for a fixed retirement age is that this ensures there is no job blocking it creates room for new staff. Besides it recognises that many people want a different workstyle. No one should be complelled to retire however if that is what they want. However, if they continue to work they should not collect their state pension this could be used as a "top up" when they actually decide to retire.

    No pension should be payable before the age of 60 unless there is illness.

  • Comment number 88.

    I'm 57 years old, and have a pension from 21 years in the Navy. However the pension is pretty modest, and I have a young family to support. So I'm about midway through my second career as an electrical engineer. The bottom line is, as long as I'm physically and mentally able to do so,I expect to work until I'm at least 70. Maybe longer. I don't really have a problem with it. There's still many things I want to experience and accomplish in this life. And to achieve them, I need to keep working. The question here is, should there be a mandatory retirement age? The answer is definitely not!

  • Comment number 89.

    The retirement age now, in the US is 66, and will rise to 67, already scheduled. I fully expect it to rise again, to 70, in the near future, scheduled over a period of time, for phase in.

    The French are well behind, in extending the work age.

  • Comment number 90.

    I will probably never retire.
    Not because I don't want to, but since my country's economy is currently in ruins and we also have an aging population, I really cannot see any chance of ever getting a pension.
    However, it is not working until my last day that worries me the most. What I dread is what is going to happen if I find myself unemployed let's say when I am 60, who is going to hire me then? Will I be left without any income while the problems of old age will be closing in?

  • Comment number 91.

    Retirement age should be strictly related to the job profile .Those demanding more of physical skills should be early and those demanding mental skills can be have an extended retirement age.

  • Comment number 92.

    Since we live to be 80 we should be allowed to work up to 70 else there is no time to accumulate a pension suitable for the time between retirement and the end of life.

  • Comment number 93.

    I'm not sure when I would like to retire. I know the Government would like me to work to Death day -1 to cover the costs of guaranteed pensions for public sector workers and will be moving the goalposts for years to come.

    Had I known that earlier I would have ensured I had a few years off the beginning of my working life that could be guaranteed as opposed to the chance of festering in a care home if I survive till whatever age they finally settle on.

  • Comment number 94.

    The pension in Germany is based on work history and unfortunately I was only able to work 12 years before I had to retire at 65. In my job as a singer (opera chorus) I wanted to work longer since I am fit and vocally fit too I'm now 69 but it was against the rules! I now work as a guest in various houses but wish I could still be in a fixed job instead of dashing around the country jumping in when anyone in my voice type goes sick! If I'm fit enough to do guest work why not do full time employment? My particular place has been filled by someone from Korea what nonsense is that when we should be employing EU citizens. The pension age should be removed and retirement based upon fitness for the job.

  • Comment number 95.

    I am self employed and 50.
    I have no desire to retire and as long as I have my health, I intend to carry on as long as I wish to, even if it means just cutting the hours back to have some free time to enjoy.
    Retiring completely is like waiting to die and I am happy to do what I want, when I can.

  • Comment number 96.

    Leftieagitator can blame the right-wing economists - but there is one overwhelming reason that we have a pensions crisis....

    Who pays pensions?

    Pensioners children.

    Developed countries are not having enough children to fund pension schemes - we need to return to the Britain of 1950.

  • Comment number 97.

    I am barely capable of doing my job now. I've forgotten most of what I ever learned and I sure can't learn anything new! However, since I had my retirement in my twenties (thanks Mrs T) I won't have fully paid up my company pension when I'm 65, so the longer my employers can be forced to pay for my dwindling useful effort the better!

  • Comment number 98.

    It makes absolutely NO SENSE whatsoever to even be thinking of raising the retirement age at a time when we've nearly 1 MILLION 18-25's currently unemployed,some of them highly qualified.

    Do we really want to lose ANOTHER GENERATION to the dole queues?

    How also,is the voluntary sector to be encouraged to take a greater part in dealing with the social requirements of society in the future,if the able bodied & newly retired are still working,leaving fewer citizens than now available to volunteer at all??

    The needs won't diminish over time,& shortfalls will have to be made up,so the net result of this strategy is that we'll have millions of our young - & their families when they have them - not knowing work of any regular kind,accompanied by all the social/cost ramifications this situation brings in its train, whilst we're compelled to work much longer than is necessary,& pay FAR MORE TAX for the privilege of doing so.

    The answer's obvious. LOWER the state pension age to 62,thus equalising it with the French-!!

  • Comment number 99.

    Okay we have to work longer, however, there should be written law that stops the government and big business from coming along in the future and pinching all the funds for pensions as it has done in the past.

  • Comment number 100.

    The problem with a fixed retirement age is that a lot of people are forced to stop working before they reach it. Look at the situation now, if you are made redundant at 55+ the odds on you getting a reasonably well paid job are minimal. Even 50+ can be a severe problem. So we have people on the dole for 10-15 years until their pension kicks in.

    So you either allow flexible retirement such that if someone nearing (with 15%) retirement age is made redundant they should be given the option of retiring early (on a proportionately lower pension, i.e if you retire at 55 as opposed to 65 you'd get an 85% pension) or taking redundancy.

    Or if you have a fixed retirement age It should be made harder to make someone redundant the older they get, so that when redundancies are made is is youngest out first.

    Or recruitment should be made age blind (no face to face interviews, they can be done over the phone, only their qualifications and recent, past 5 years, occupation need to be declared, no questions or information required, such as when they got their qualification, to be asked for).

    But to be honest the first option of flexible retirement is the only one I could see working.


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