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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 September 2005, 09:17 GMT 10:17 UK
Should pensionable age be raised?
Pensioner collecting her pension
What do you think of suggestions of raising the pension age to 69?

The Institute of Directors and business leaders group the CBI have renewed calls for the government to raise the retirement age in Britain in a bid to avert a public sector worker pensions crisis.

The call comes after a report by the National Association of Pension Funds which suggested Britons should be paid a "citizen's pension" of 109 a week when they retire.

To ensure that the value of the new pension rises in line with average earnings, the state retirement age would have to be raised to 69 years of age by 2040.

What do you think of the idea of a citizen's pension? Do you think the current means-tested benefits work? How would you be affected? Send us your comments.


This debate is now closed. Please read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

SUGGEST A DEBATE
This topic was suggested by Jilles Edema, Aberdeen UK
What do you think of retiring at 69?

I don't have a problem with people working until 69 if they have the skills and want to do so. However, I'm having dire difficulty trying to return to work at 44 after a short period as a carer, so I don't see what employer in my area would want a 69 year old. The jobs here are either in retail, call centre or require candidates with a low standard of qualification and little experience. Mature, better qualified candidates with a wealth experience are being passed over. I have been trying to find a full time position in my field for 2 years now. If I did not have savings I would be destitute as I am not entitled to claim any benefits. Still, if I am left with nothing for my old age the State will have to keep me.
Linda, Kirkcaldy, Scotland

Sounds to me like another cynical government scam. I've absolutely no doubt that the penny has dropped, and that one of Blair's brighter statisticians has worked out how many people die between the ages of 65 and 69.
Chris B, Bedford, UK

Of course. We are living longer and can work longer too.
R. Mason, London, UK

A friend of mine who retired early from the Boeing Company in Seattle told me of a statistical study carried out amongst company retirees. It was found that most of the retirees who retired at age 65 were dead by age 68. Those retirees who took their pensions at age 60 were generally alive well into their 70s. Is this a little information that the spin doctors are keeping schtum about?
W D Toulman, Walkington, East Yorkshire, UK

We should encourage the healthy to work until 69, allowing them to work part time after 60. There should be a financial incentive to receive benefits later
David Brough, Vancouver, Canada

MPs do not suggest that they should revise their pensions
Geoff Brocl, London, UK
I would like to enjoy the pension arrangements of MPs. They contribute very little for a short period and get a pension beyond most of our wildest dreams. Curiously, MPs do not suggest that they should revise their pensions, but are very keen to cut everyone else's. Let us demand that UK pensions are linked to MPs' pensions. They can retire at any age - even before 65 - at full pay!
Geoff Brocl, London, UK

I'm 47, recently made redundant, a widower with 3 school age children. Despite two engineering degrees, finding work has proved a fruitless endeavour. I have paid over 250,000 in Tax and NI over a working like of 26 years. I don't get any Job Seekers Allowance as I already get a small widowers' pension. I have been thrifty with savings and no mortgage so with a bit of luck I can eek out my savings till I die. The Government would prefer that we all dropped dead the day we retired to save them money.
Steve Button, Torphins, Scotland

Perhaps I'm one of the lucky ones. Generally, I enjoy my job - even if I think I am poorly paid for the vast experience that I bring to it. However, there's one little issue that I can't get to grips with: it's quite simple, and it goes like this. I have a contract of employment with my employer. I provide a service for which I am paid; he benefits from my productivity. We both make money. If my employer is happy for me to work for him up to any age I reach, why is that anybody else's business? If I choose to work for my employer up to the age I die, and he is happy with this arrangement, and is paying me for the work that I do, where's the problem? Therefore, this whole issue of "retirement age" is completely irrelevant: it's a private matter between employer and employee. End of story.
Alan Hall, Evesham, Worcs

No. Not by compulsion. Make pension savings a legal requirement for all adults in employment (and make their employers contribute). Then set a standard for payments everyone can expect. This is not a market place adventure - it's all our lives!!!
Des, Porth, Mid Glam

All the technological advances of the last 30 years - computers, robots, automation - and we're told we will have to work until 69. Think back to tv's "Tomorrow's World" in the 1970s - we were told that technology would mean an age of leisure by the year 2000. The machines are doing more than was ever predicted - so who's kidding whom. The factory near me had 12,000 workers in 1970; it has 4,000 now and makes more cars than ever. Is the system just paying for more parasites than ever - at the top and at the bottom?
Chris, Wirral, GB

Definitely not! The pension age should not be raised at all, as it stands, when one reaches 50 or 55, if one is not a big professional with high flying credentials etc., there are no jobs to be had on the jobs market. There is discrimination from the companies and so on. Thus let the pension age remain as it stands now.
Joy Butler, Wiesbaden, Germany

I take it that people who have never worked will not be affected while those who do work and support them will have to work even longer. Their only concern is that their benefactor might not live long enough to keep supporting them.
J Brockhurst, Mildenhall

Let's retire earlier and concentrate on being more efficient while we work
Richard Stott, Harrogate, UK
I fail to see how making people work longer helps at all. If I work longer then I displace someone else in the working population from his job. So unemployment rises and we pay unemployment benefit instead of pensions. Let's retire earlier and concentrate on being more efficient while we work.
Richard Stott, Harrogate, UK

Yes, the age should be raised if it is totally necessary. Before this is done however I would like to see some convergence of the public and private sectors. How can the government possibly say that the age should be raised when public sector workers are getting more than generous pensions from the age of 60.
Steve, Cambridge UK

There's no doubt people in the UK, in general,are living longer. I'm currently 62 and leading a very active life in overseas work, currently in Iraq. Assuming my health remains good, I have no intention of retiring until 70, at the earliest. So, yes, I agree with raising the pensionable age for all.
Stuart Ritchie, Haverfordwest, West Wales

Of course the pension age should be increased. As part of the 16-25 year old age gap I understand that in 20 years time there is simply no way we can support the increasing number of 65s and over. The pension system would collapse. These people that claim it is "disgusting" make them work till 70 should look at the sums. If the pension age isn't increased there will be no pension for anybody except the rich who have saved. If we are living longer why shouldn't we work longer
Frederick Smith, Ipswich, Suffolk

Anyone who has made 40 years-worth of contributions into the system would be able to retire whenever they want and take a full pension
Jeff, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Absolutely not. Anyone who has made 40 years-worth of contributions into the system would be able to retire whenever they want and take a full pension. This way people who leave school early, and typically take on a demanding, physical job, can retire early. Those who have been to college and university, and have easier office jobs, can keep on working well into their sixties. If some people wish to keep on working, and pay the contributions, they should get an increased pension (pro-rata).
Jeff, Abu Dhabi, UAE

The idea of raising the pension age is dreadful. If we need more money to pay pensions then why not increase income tax for those who earn high salaries. As a pensioner myself I know that by the time a person is 65-years-old they are beginning to reduce their capacity for work. If you have worked all your life you should be able to retire before 65 years and then have the final stage of your life in comfort. There are many people who do not work and it is not because they are not able but because they are idol. I speak from first-hand knowledge. They are so good and getting money from the state which is another draw on money that should go towards those who really need it.
Alan Watts, Shepshed, Leicestershire

In a country where the average life expectancy for a man is 75.9 years the suggestion of working to you are 69 is unthinkable. Is there a really a case for working 90% of your life to fund a retirement which accounts for only 10% of it. In reality what this is proposing is that the state pension should be a lottery, with the millions of people who don't reach 69 funding a better lifestyle for those who do. Are you willing to gamble? Private pensions are the answer and make the choice to gamble a personal one.
Arran, Oldham, England

If previous governments had actually invested our pension contributions and not just spent it all then maybe we wouldn't be looking at such a bad deal.
Ross Elliott, UK

If old people continue working how do the young get a job?
Richard Maurins, Arbroath, Angus, Scotland
Those of us in manual jobs cannot physically continue in our same jobs. Secondly if old people continue working how do the young get a job, you must consider proper training for the youth, not wait for them to fill "dead men's shoes", I learnt through an apprenticeship which taught me both a trade and discipline in work/life ethics.
Richard Maurins, Arbroath, Angus, Scotland

All very well, but there are so many 40+ people who cannot get jobs now due to age discrimination - and get real, it certainly does exist, then what chance has anyone up to 69 got? I was brought up in an era where paying into a pension fund was an absolute necessity, but I certainly wouldn't touch a pension fund with a barge pole now.
Sue Woollard, Westcliff-on-Sea

I don't see any problem with raising the retirement age for the state pension in fact I think it is essential. Especially if we are talking about increasing the state retirement pension at a rate similar to those of earnings. I also think people need to be careful when they talk about a terrible scandal of pensioners in poverty. People who are under 25 and need to claim Jobseekers Allowance receive 44.50 per week (providing they are over 18) This is far less than the 109 per week that a pensioner receives. When we talk about poverty we need to realise that pensioners receive much more from means tested benefits than most other groups. How about a public outcry about our youth who receive less than half the minimum that a pensioner is supposed to live on and any Housing Benefit they receive is restricted to the average cost of a bed-sit rather than a home with a separate bedroom and living room like a pensioner would get.
Tony, Bradford, UK

Retirement age does need to rise and I don't see the problem with people working to 69/70. The whole ridiculous benefits system is at the heart of our problems. The reason we cannot afford to cater for the elderly is largely down to the vast amounts of benefits paid to those who have no intention of seeking work, happy to live out their entire lives on various state handouts. We need to end the notion in this country that it is acceptable for a grown, fit person to be kept for the state for years on end. Benefits need to be looked at right now.
Mal Adams, North Shields, England

Raising the retirement age to 69, or 70 for that matter, would send a powerful signal to all that if they want to retire early they need to save for it. However, there is currently no way in which someone can obtain up-front tax relief on savings payments intended to bridge the gap between their selected retirement date and the state retirement date. Isn't this the carrot to go with the stick?
Paul, Basingstoke, England

As life expectancy increases, the proportion of the dependant population (retired and under 16s) to the economically active population is obviously going to increase. We may be able to support them now but give it another 10 years and the state just won't have the money available to pay all the required pensions
Nick, Cheltenham, UK

As we are no longer a manufacturing country, much of the work a lot of us do consists of pointlessly creating more non-work for others. For example, one in seven workers are said to be 'managers'. A complete re-evaluation of work itself would be a first step.
Harry, Lewes, Sussex

I have no faith that a pension could possibly cover me in my old age
Jeffrey Lake, London, UK
I'm 21 and like many of my generation, I have no faith that a pension could possibly cover me in my old age. I'm not relying on either the government or private companies to care for me. That's what family are for.
Jeffrey Lake, London, UK

Whilst extra saving may be needed by most folk, the way that the pension industry has behaved means many do not trust the industry to look after their money. Private pensions have been raided by unscrupulous employers. The answer is for everyone to fund their own pension by law, and to have it under their own control - not at the behest of the pension industry.
Keith, Northwich, Cheshire.

I think if the person over 65 is willing and able to work past that age, then it would be a good thing for the economy, as well as having benefits for that pensioner and his or her family.
Mr. Philip Hull, Belfast Co. Antrim

I'm 35 and, because I've never paid significant amounts into a pension, I am basically debt free with no mortgage this year. It's a gamble putting my money into a pension fund because once it's gone into the fund it's tied up until I reach whatever the government decides is the minimum retirement age (which can and has changed). At the very least the Government ought to guarantee that whatever funds are contributed to a pension fund in any given year can be used for your pension.
Tim, Watford, England

Lest we forget, public sector workers forgo private sector wages in return for their favourable retirement conditions. Without that incentive, I doubt whether quite so many people would take these jobs.
Stephanie Boyd, Edinburgh, Scotland

Life is too short to work until you drop
Mary Mair, Scotland
I cannot imagine wanting to work longer than 60. Life is too short to work until you drop - which I think many more people will end up doing. I am fortunate in that I will receive a good pension, but for those less fortunate then I think the citizens pension would keep people from having to live in poverty when they retire.
Mary Mair, Dunfermline, Scotland

We live in the fourth richest country in the world, and one of the most technologically advanced. If the wealth of this country were more fairly shared none of us would need to work beyond 50, let alone 65.
Nick James, Bexley, Kent, UK

To Nick James of Bexley: Why should the wealth be shared out? Why should I work 15 hrs a day for the lazy, idle and too work-shy to benefit? How about if these parasites work there would be more money?
D. Walker, Cheam, Surrey

Maybe the solution is to gradually introduce a pension by making 65 to 69-year olds work half-time. That way they would get some rest but also stay active and contribute to the economy.
Anna, UK

I work in the pensions industry. And I can tell you all that the cost of providing pensions has rocketed due to higher life expectancy. Raising the retirement age is essential, as the alternatives - huge rise in taxes or much lower pensions - are not practical. If you want to retire earlier then you will simply have to save more by spending less - that is what I am doing.
M, London

I think the pension age should come down to 60
Brian Hacker, Wales
Far from going up, I think the pension age should come down to 60. This is an age when you are still fit enough to still do something with your life, and not just retire and die as people did 40-50 years ago. Don't forget that for the previous 40+ years prior to retiring people have been contributing to society through living, consuming paying taxes and raising families. The government and society should reward their efforts with a decent retirement pension at a reasonable age.
Brian Hacker, Pontypool Wales

We have a similar dilemma in my country. My opinion is not representative of the population, but I think that a defined pension age is a really bad idea. If one is able to work, and one wants to, one should. If one fails to be able to work any longer, one should be able to purchase insurance for that eventuality.
Denis, Slovenia

Considering life expectancy as it is today, why shouldn't pension age be increased? Lifestyles and medical treatment have evolved, it's about time we accepted these points and amended current legislation. I am also in full agreement of means tested benefits. What could be regarded as pocket money for some pensioners is a life line for others.
Julie Shawyer, By-Forfar, Scotland.

Although it would be slightly complicated, you could have a retirement age dependent on post-eructation years worked. So, someone leaving school at 15 could retire at 65 after 50 years of work, while someone graduating at 22, would have to work to 72 before being eligible for a state pension. I'd be happy with this despite a higher than average six years at uni.
Dr Justin Seabrook, Brighton

Perhaps we should go further and abolish state pensions altogether
Brendan, London
It is clear that at the very least the pension age has to be raised because people are living longer. Perhaps we should go further and "think the unthinkable": Abolish state pensions altogether and make people entirely responsible for funding their old age. If we gave say a thirty year notice period, then everyone would have time to make their own arrangements and could then choose to retire whenever they wished.
Brendan, London

When the pension was first introduced the age expectancy was lower than the age you could receive a pension. Therefore the pension was a net gain for the government, and now it is a net loss - costing money that could be better spent elsewhere than paying people who are still happy to work. I accept that when I will retire I may be 70 or 75, but if that will reduce the tax that I have to pay over the next 45 years I won't be complaining.
Alan Eden, Guildford

There are many fit 70-year-olds today
David Johnson, Belfast
Yes, the government should rise along with life expectancy. Pensions were introduced when people were far less likely to live beyond the age of 65. There are many fit 70-year-olds today.
David Johnson, Belfast, UK

My contract of employment states that I will be retired at age 60. Where am I supposed to find work for another 9 years? Companies are reluctant to take on people over 40, let alone over 60.
Chris C, Aylesbury, UK

The rich can retire when ever they want to. The policy makers fall under the rich bracket. But what about the man in the street? After 35 to 40 years working he or she needs a bit break from the rat race. By the year 2040 we could be living shorter lives. I say retire at sixty and let the younger generation get jobs.
Thomas C Kantha, Osaka Japan

I'm 22 and work full time and I have no debt and am sensible with money. I can't afford to start a pension, there is no way that I could ever buy property with the current prices. A lot of other people are in this situation. At this rate 90% of my generation will totally loose out when we reach retirement age.
David, Manchester, UK

How can I possibly be fit enough to do all the heavy lifting I do now when I'm 69?
Debbie , Nottingham
I stayed at home for 13 years to care for my children. I claimed no benefits - my husband kept us. I went back to work, hoping to pay into a pension plan. But instead, I am paying to put four children through University. I'll be 60 when the last one finishes. I haven't a hope of getting a decent pension. I'm a nurse - how can I possibly be fit enough to do all the heavy lifting I do now when I'm 69?
Debbie , Nottingham, England

Frankly I don't find the prospect either shocking or particularly upsetting - many pensioners I know are bored and would love to work to stay occupied. What is more shocking to me are the comments regarding compulsory saving. In an age when almost an entire generation has been priced out of the housing market, I only wish I had spare money to save. By the time I have paid all my bills, travel costs, food etc, I may just have enough to go out once a week and see my friends. First bring wages/property prices into line, then we can start looking for our futures.
Paul Harrison, London

It is extremely difficult to get a job if you are over 50 at the moment. The government wants you to work hard and make pension contributions as long as you can, but how many people will live up to 70-75 years old? Does it mean that we have to make pension contributions for the pension we may never get?
Irisha, UK, London

Expecting people to work full time to the age of 69 is a disgrace
Fay, London
I think expecting people to work full time to the age of 69 is a disgrace. I would never take my health for granted and would feel extremely lucky to even make it to the grand age of 69. For people who begin work at the age of 16 this would mean they had been working for 53 years! This is no way to live your life.
Fay, London

My father was a farmer in England and could not collect his pension until he was age 70 as he was classified as a buisness owner. My father worked extremely hard working from 5 am in the morning until dusk at night. He died when he was 69. He never saw a penny of his pension. I thought that disgraceful then, and I think it disgraceful now to even suggest raising the age for pensioners.
Heather, Canada

I get fed up with hearing the Government and individuals saying we need to save harder for our pensions. I for one would love to be able to save as much as I possibly can for early retirement, but what prevents me from doing this is the amount I have to pay out in additional taxes - especially stealth taxes. We seem to pay out as much as we earn - leaving nothing to save more so if you are on low income.
Steve, Nottinghamshire

This should be more a matter of health and of choice. Perhaps there should be an incapacity pension available from 60, and a standard pension from 70 for those able to work longer. But there should also be a legal right to work to 75. At the moment there are enough jobs and it seems a shame to lose professional expertise in state-funded areas like teaching and healthcare because of mandatory retirement ages.
A Legge, Leeds, uk

We need much more investment in medical research into treatments for dementia and arthritic diseases
Nathan Kirkwood, Bedford
Raising the retirement age as people live longer seems obvious enough. But we need much more investment in medical research into treatments for dementia and arthritic diseases if people are to be healthy enough to work longer.
Nathan Kirkwood, Bedford, UK

It is indecent to raise the retirement age. Workers will work till death. Maybe it is time to take money from the rich and not from the poor for a change.
Eduardo, Madrid. Spain

So, the pendulum swings. Along with many other skilled people, I was made redundant at the age 0f 55 to make way for younger colleagues and enable equal opportunities targets to be met. I was able to become self employed but, sadly, many were lost to the UK economy. We now have a shortage of skills and those who displace us will have to work until age 69.
Ken, Merseyside, UK

The UK pension scheme reminds me of a pyramid scam, as long as more people pay in than take out it is OK. If the Government invested the funds into profit making schemes, then the fund would grow and instead of asking people to work longer they could retire earlier if they wanted. Let's face it, Mr Average works to live not lives to work.
Brian M Keith, Ellesmere England

As an employee of the Pension Service I find a lot of ignorance in many of the statements posted. State Pensions are already pro rata and those that don't pay in get very little out. So the argument that we are supporting immigrants etc is strictly untrue. People can work beyond 65 if they wish; they are just no longer liable for national insurance. And state retirement pension is not means tested (the official term is income related) but I feel it should be as this would help alleviate this phantom non-existent crisis we are meant to be having. If they want to save money, the thing to do is to make child benefit an income-related benefit.
Darryll Scott, Exeter, UK

More people working until they are 69 means less opportunities for the young
Mike W, Gravesend
More people working until they are 69 means less opportunities for the young to even make a start. So, they will not get training, they will not be able to start to save toward their own pensions, they will not be able to afford their first home. Even more disillusioned youngsters to swell the unemployed masses. What a complete mess. This Government has destroyed the hopes of those nearing retirement, and the futures of the young wishing to make a start in a career.
Mike W, Gravesend, Kent

I retired to semi retirement at 60, and finally was made redundant at 62, but found no further work. So what would I have lived on between the ages or 62 and 69? I'm afraid there will not be enough check-out and shelf stacking jobs to go round.
Jean Staveley, chesham bucks

I work for a company with several staff over the age of 65, even the boss is in her 80's. I personally will retire when I can afford to.
S Miller, Kent, UK

Two themes run through many of these posts. Firstly, the idea that it is the government's money and that 'they are lining their coffers by not paying generous pensions'. But really it is our money. It may be mis-allocated, but fortunately in Britain very little (if any) is actually stolen. Surely we can decide where it is spent by using our votes. The second is that most people consider that government employees, including MPs, receive disproportionately high pensions, while they now receive very competitive salaries and wages. Until this is corrected, any government policy on pensions will lack credibility. Bob, Lancing
Bob Cranmore, Lancing Sussex

Make it possible before you make it compulsory!
Philippa, Newcastle, UK
Why not start by making it possible for people to work longer. My husband's current employers (a university committed to "lifelong learning") has draconian rules against employing anyone - even on a casual or part-time basis - if they are one day past their 65th birthday. Make it possible before you make it compulsory!
Philippa, Newcastle, UK

Like it or not we are not saving enough for our old age and the country will not be able to support us all - and exactly what will 109.00 buy? Which party is going to make compulsory saving a political promise - probably none of them but in the meantime we all like our luxuries, our holidays etc. Simply put, people earning over a set amount need to be forced to save - it may be painful now but it will be far more painful in the future having to scrimp and save EVERY day. Who wants to look forward to that? The alternative is to become an MP and get a nice cushy pension on retirement!
Clive, Woking

The cost of living is rising, people's life expectancy is rising, but salaries are not, so how can young people even think of saving for a pension? Most young people just want to have a good time down the pub - so what is the government going to do?
Shalini

The reality is that when pensions were introduced, many people were dying in their 60s, or early 70s at best. Improvements in medical technology, universal health care and better nutrition has raised the life expectancy so that people in their 80s still enjoy a good standard of living. I don't see why people shouldn't be able to work until they are 69. My grandfather was self-employed and only stopped working well into his 70s.
Alex, London, UK

I am extremely fortunate to be part of an excellent company pension scheme, and don't plan to work a day past the age of 60 (I'm 26 now). It's horrific to think that (with average life expectancy of only 74 years) we can't provide better than this for our senior citizens. Besides, what company will hire, or even retain, a 60-plus employee?
Frank, Overtown, Scotland

The UK has lost the plot big time
Steve, Marlow, UK
So retirement age could be raised to fund pensions for those who 'fail' to make full NI contributions. I think I'll stop working and let everyone else fund me for a while - the UK has lost the plot big time.
Steve, Marlow, UK

Please understand that this is an issue of demographics not politics. We are living longer, and having fewer children later. There isn't any robbery going on, pension scheme funds are calculated based on "estimates" of how long people will live and how much the stock market will grow, when these are recalculated there seems to be a hole in the fund, but it's just a future projection.
Ruth Kempton, Cheshire, UK

I am stopping my pension right now... forget the government will help or any other pension scams - they'll be all gone in twenty years time - we're all on our own! Start saving off shore and spending now.
Roberto Marabotto, London

My Grandmother lives in sheltered housing. She receives the basic state pension as she has a small personal pension. Her neighbour receive all sorts of benefits as she made no provision for her old age and hence is better off. What incentive is there to save for our old age when we know that the current system will penalise us for doing so?
Carolyn, England

How many employers would be prepared to employ this older generation
C Preece, Tamworth, UK
This brings up a number of issues:- 1.With people working longer where do the jobs for the youth of this world come from? 2. Is it really practicable to expect people at 69 to be fit and capable to continue working in all types of work? Jobs like scaffolders, foundry men and other hard physical jobs. 3. How many employers would be prepared to employ this older generation. But most importantly why should people who have paid into the system all their working lives in order to enjoy their autumn years have it stripped away from them?
C.Preece, Tamworth, UK

The government is probably hoping that most people will work until they drop, saving them the money or the bother with pensioners, they should be ashamed!
Delia, Derbyshire - UK

I'm a Brit in the USA for a year. My retirement age was recently raised from 60 to 65 and my employer is reviewing it again for affordability. I think that this is very sensible. To answer your questions: No, means tested benefits do not work. Pensioners regard them as demeaning and the process for obtaining them is arbitrary and bureaucratic. A citizen's pension is a great idea. It would be clear, simple and cheap to administer. Of course we have to retire later, we're living far longer and we can remain alert and productive at work well past 60 or 65. I suggest that we move to a system with no fixed retirement age, but where you can draw your citizen's pension at 70.
P Taylor, Cambridge, USA

I am 61 and I plan never to retire both because I love my self-employed business and because I cannot afford to stop work. Given that most employers discriminate against anyone over 35 I wonder how on earth people are going to be able to stay in work long enough to support themselves and their dependents until they reach 69?
Hilary Traveller, Guildford, Uk

If all pensioners who contributed to the state system were paid the same pension regardless of private arrangements it would simplify the system and make it cheaper to run.
Caron, England

I'm 23 and I am starting to think about my pension. I know I can't rely on the state pension which will probably be abolished by the time I reach middle age. Maybe I should accept I may have to work til I die and not get a pension at all!
Nicola, Cardiff, UK

While in favour of a flat-rate pension rather than means-tested ones, I think that amending the pension age for those already in work is verging on a breach of contract between the worker & the National Insurance system.
Megan, Cheshire UK

They must bite the bullet of equalising the public-sector retirement age with the private sector first
Noel, Stockport UK
They must bite the bullet of equalising the public-sector retirement age with the private sector first - otherwise I detect yet another scam for taking money of the hard-pressed wealth-generator and passing it to Labour-supporting interest groups. Also, it reinforces the suspicion that those who do not contribute still get rewards (paid for by the above wealth-generators).
Noel, Stockport UK

I think we may just be sleepwalking ourselves into an unnecessary panic on this subject. The so called "baby boom" generation due to reach state retirement age within the next 10 years creates largest amount of pensioners to be added to existing numbers. Demographics and the natural aging processes, even with extended life expectancy, will begin to see a fall in the total sometime around 2030-2040, when that age group decreases in the normal course of events. Given that there is no dramatic rise in the ensuing birth rate, ensuring another bulge later on, the figures will eventually average out.Thus rendering any increase in retirement age avoidable.
Dave, England

So, because successive Governments have failed to invest enough for pensions we have to work longer to get a state pension? On private pensions over the past 15 years speculators, fat-cat directors and the chancellors have sucked multiple billions out from the pension schemes. The "experts" are saying now, just forget all that and work longer. I can forget it if the parasites are sent to prison for a long time and stripped of their assets.
Charles Smith, London UK

It does nothing to tackle the underlying need for individuals to be encouraged to save and take responsibility for their retirement
Bryan, Glasgow, UK
The UK pension system is a shambles and deferring the age of retirement is just another desperate attempt to simply spread what little funds there are that bit further by waiting for fewer people to live past the age of retirement. It does nothing to tackle the underlying need for individuals to be encouraged to save and take responsibility for their retirement.
Currently the money you put into the state pension system via taxes and NI bears no relation to the money you get out. It penalises mothers and the self employed and because of the tax system, forces people into company schemes (of which I have 2 already because of changes in employer) and away from their own plans. I like many others want the government to allow employer's tax free contributions to go to my own personal pension plan not that of the companies I work for. I want to see a level playing field for all.
Bryan, Glasgow, UK

Money for other people's wars, but no money for pensions.
Ryan King, Rome, Italy

Having a flat amount is all well and good, but why should somebody who has shirked work and or taxes for their life be rewarded the same as one who has contributed. By all means have a safety net, but let's reward those who have supported society!
Simon Mallett, UK Maidstone

Whether or not to raise the pension age should be a decision made by the electorate via referendum. The decision would instruct politicians how to proceed with financing future pensions.
Brian Langfield, Yorkshire - UK

Great idea! Let's all give a big chunk of our earnings to the government for 40 odd years then when were about to croak, they will give us some back! Scamming old people should not be a government agenda.
Paul, Kingston

This is an outrageous suggestion. I am currently in my early forties, but have absolutely no interest in work. I would retire tomorrow if possible. The thought of working until 69 just depresses me. The government should cutback in other areas and return the billions stolen from pension schemes. That way we can all retire at a reasonable age.
Keith, UK

I'm starting to think I should spend the money now, enjoy it and forget about my retirement
Paul, Manchester
So, does this mean that if I make my own provisions for a pension and retire at 65 I can look forward to getting an extra 109 at 69? Or as usual will I be expected to hand over more of my money to the government and get absolutely nothing in return? I'm starting to think I should spend the money now, enjoy it and forget about my retirement because it will never arrive because I'll be working until the day I drop!
Paul, Manchester

It is unthinkable that public sector workers should retire at 60 whilst everyone else has to work extra years AND pay extra taxes to support public sector pension schemes. Instead of capitulating to the unions the government must press ahead with immediate reform of public sector pension schemes.
RJA, Farnborough, UK

When I am 65, I will consider that I have spent enough of my life working for the taxman
Mark, Luton
Given that most people would choose not to work if they didn't have It funny, isn't it, that the government is so keen to review certain things that they feel need to be brought in line with modern times... but only when it is to do with saving them money or raising more revenue. First council tax was the object, now its retirement ages. Strangely, other things such as inheritance tax, which now affects more ordinary people seems to have been forgotten. They only want to squeeze more money out of you. Work till you die. Contribute National Insurance and income tax till you die. Line the government coffers until you die (then they take your legacy). If you wish to work on, then fine, you should be allowed to. But when I am 65, I will consider that I have spent enough of my life working for the taxman, enough time funding layabouts, health tourists, spongers, scroungers and immigrants.
Mark, Luton

I think it's a great idea. Too many people, especially women, are forced to retire before they are ready and made to feel less valuable members of society. We are living far longer these days and with the falling birth rate the skills of older people will become increasingly in demand. Let people have a pension at a certain age (69 seems fine) but don't force us to retire if we are still contributing.
Jo, Brighton, UK

I don't think it SHOULD be raised, it simply HAS to be raised due to the ageing population. Probably the best thing that could happen would be if those people relatively close to pensionable age were offered the opportunity to work for themselves
Dave Shane, Manchester, UK

Yes the pension age needs to be raised, however you cannot compare an office worker in a warm dry environment with the work of a bricklayer who works outdoors all year. Headlines like this are just sensationalist and so do not help the debate about what to do. People need to understand the arguments and agree on a way forward otherwise this will be viewed as another tight fisted Government act designed to save money
Greg Heath, Preston Lancashire

Means testing is immoral! If you've paid in to it for long enough you are entitled to it, irrespective of your financial situation. Should I decide that the banks are rich enough and not pay back my mortgage? I wonder what would happen...
P, England

If my dad read about this he would probably fall into a mild coma. He hates his job and retirement is the only thing that is keeping him going right now. IF he was told he would have to wait another 10 years or however long it is I think he'd have a mental breakdown.
Dave, Stoke-on-trent

Yes the pension age should be raised but can the government get the unions to accept it for government employees? Who nowadays seem to retire at 55
David, Brighton, United Kingdom

My father died at 58, and my father in law at 60. Me and my other half are 44 and 49 respectively so no I don't want to wait until I'm 69 to retire. The sooner we retire the better but first we have a child who may want to go to University so once that's paid for we're off!
Sue, Halesowen, UK

You should only get a pension if you have paid in
Kev, UK
You should only get a pension if you have paid in. As a nation we pay out vast sums of taxpayers' money to undeserving layabouts and scroungers and illegal aliens. Those who have paid in should get the Citizens pension and those who haven't should not. Those who have paid in some should get their pension pro-rata, just like a part time worker would be paid. This should apply to all benefits as well.
Kev, UK

Is it right that civil servants debate over whether private sector workers should receive a state pension at 67 or 69 whilst they are striking to retain their pension at age 60 that we are paying for out of income tax and council tax!
Liz, Brighton

I'm 26, and am of the opinion that there's not likely to be a state pension when I retire. The government have robbed and taxed our pensions... Is no wonder people are investing in property, and pushing up house prices!
Paul Sealey, Cannock, England

There is another side to this discussion. Many people need to work till 70 because of their own financial circumstances, particularly high mortgages. Under current law, highly skilled people can be tipped onto the scrap heap at 60 (where that's the company retirement age) and in all other cases at 65. So quite apart from the pensions funding crisis, there should be no age limit for employment subject only to reasonable capability criteria.
Dave Ball, Wokingham, UK

Certainly not for anyone over 40 already. We have spent all of our lives working and paying into pension schemes on the understanding that we would retire at a fixed age. In my own case this is 60, and for year after year my employer has fobbed us off with very low pay rises 'because your pension is expensive and you retire at 60'. If they change this now it will be a complete betrayal.
Peter, Telford

Does this rise in pensionable age apply to the MPs as well, or do they still get their whacking big pension when they retire from the civil service? This simply furthers segregation within the UK, splitting it into those who have and those who have not. Classless society - whoops there goes a flying pig.
Paul, Wales




SEE ALSO:
Up pension age to 69, report says
23 Sep 05 |  Business



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