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Page last updated at 15:37 GMT, Friday, 25 June 2010 16:37 UK

Raising the retirement age

Two older people chatting

The government is to speed up plans to raise the state pension age for men to 66, possibly by as early as 2016. Women will follow later.

This week Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith announced a three-month consultation with the public on pension reforms.

Among the issues under discussion will be when to raise the state pension age to 66 and proposals to phase out the default retirement age of 65.

Would you welcome the opportunity to work beyond 65?

Perhaps you already are working beyond retirement age?

Have you tried to work longer and faced difficulties?

If you are an employer what would such changes mean for your business?

How would you reinvigorate retirement?

Tell us your views.

The government is worried that their reforms will hit the manual worker harder than the office type worker.

Saying the manual worker will not be able be physically able to do manual work after 66.

So why not put the pension age to 50 years in work? The manual worker usually starts working at 16 whilst the office type worker starts anytime between 18 and 24.

Vincent, Peterborough

Us so called baby boomers were born in an age of austerity. As a child I shared a bed and lived above a shop with an outside loo.

I for one and all the people I know of in my generation worked hard and lived within our means, we learned to be prudent from our parents and didn't borrow (except for a mortgage) and made plans and provision for retirement based on retiring at 65 (or in some cases before).

It was Thatcher's children, the current 30-40 year olds, who lived beyond their means, squandered the money and created the bubbles that have now burst, so why should we the prudent one's be blamed and penalised?

Given the recent budget I cannot afford to change my retirement plans in the next 6 years and I doubt that anyone over the age of 55 can do (apart from the Bankers of course!)

Frank, Manchester

Raising the state retirement age for men only is blatant sex discrimination. Surely it will be challenged successfully in the European courts?

Chris, Guildford

I am 64 this year, I do not want to stop working, I enjoy it.

Why do the government pay me £250 each winter, my wife and I both work, more money than sense.

Graham, Rothesay

The compulsory retirement of people forces them into a non-status existence in which they will likely suffer considerable poverty and hardship. Yet these same people, generally, have experience and knowledge that is priceless. The present system is a significant breach of their human rights.

There is, of course, an ageist agenda within commerce fuelled by two factors. The first is the "straight out of uni" HR people who have an instinctive suspicion and possibly hatred of older people (for them that means over 30). There is the more visible issue of redundancy payments which have become punitive to Companies. That issue should be tackled and the demand to dump older, wiser, better experienced, more capable staff may well decline.

The abolition of compulsory retirement is the most effective way to cut the cost of old age and with an immediate payback. Delaying retirement by a year or two years or so at some future date will have absolutely no effect on current spending. However, if a million people decide not to take their pension then spending on pensions will be cut immediately. Do not forget the pension increases if taken later. The reward for taking pensions later should be improved.

Young people may well think this makes it harder for them to obtain employment. However money in the hands of a group able to spend is likely to generate more economic activity resulting in more employment likely to be suited to young people entering work for the first time. It is hardly likely those people will be applying for the same jobs being seized by forcing older people into abject poverty.

John, London

The pension age rise is particularly unfair because it won't make any difference to those people who have built up large private pension pots and will retire as before in their 50s.

This country has got its priorities wrong. There's enough money to pay for wars and renewal of Trident, but teachers' pay has to be frozen. If the Taliban did their worst it is unlikely they would have been able to inflict 300 deaths and countless injuries on British people had our troops NOT been there. Why not run Trident like private schools? Whoever wants it can pay for it...

If everyone like me who is self-employed were to not pay tax due once they reached the age of 65 would they be able to put ALL of us into prison? I reckon the tax I pay in one year roughly equates the basic state pension.

Peter, London

I have to say the work environment has changed significantly over my working life and the job is nowhere near as exciting and fulfilling because of all the bureaucracy, health and safety, and flakey IT which just takes loads of time and results in incorrect statistics complicating getting on with the "real job". I won't choose to work longer than I need to.

Paul, Dorset

It it fair to penalise men more than women, when this has already been thrown out by European courts ? Men are not suddenly living longer than women.

It is too short a period to replan for. If you want to work then you should be able to, so removing enforced retirement makes some sense - fine if you are still in a job. But if you have planned to retire in around six years time and already cast the dice, then will you be able to find a job in our ageist society at late 50's to mid 60's?

Gary, Guildford

The proposed ending of the default retirement age is fraught with problems.

If people continue to work there can be no justification for stopping NI contributions on earnings at any particular age. No reason for the state to pay out any "retirement" pension until you declare yourself retired. No justification for higher personal tax allowances etc.for over 65s. No justification for winter fuel payments, bus passes etc.

Mark my words it will also result in many, many more people being made redundant in their early 60s. If an employer senses that you might want to go on "for ever" sensible employers will unload you earlier rather than take the view its only a couple of years to 65 so he will go then.

It appears to be a wonderful opportunity for the law of unintended consequences to operate at its fullest.

Gerald, Norwich

After many years of NI contributions and saving hard for my company pension I was made redundant at 50. Jobs at that age were available but at a drastically reduced income so I chose early retirement, that was 7 years ago.

Recently the income from my savings has all but disappeared and pensions do not keep up with inflation . Now the government proposes this daft idea that will hit me very hard.

My private pension reduces when I am 65 in line with my getting the state pension which was a sensible option at the time but will be ruined by this hasty change. This and the problems of no interest on savings, high inflation and constant increases in tax and energy bills threaten to ultimately leave me dependent on state support despite my retiring with plenty to last me the rest of my days given a fair chance.

As for changing the law to prevent employers retiring staff at 65, this will only further deter employers hiring 'elderly staff' in their 50s. If the government do this people losing their jobs in their 50s will have very little chance of getting another job.

Roger, London

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