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  • Writer's picturechris walsh

Why they must not increase the state pension age

There has been some publicity given to a member of the government floating the idea of raising the pension age after the election to 68. This is a bad idea for a number of reasons. First is that ageism means over half of people in their last year pre state pension are workless so it would mean for the majority they would be on benefits rather than getting the pension their lifetime of NI payments entitles them. The second is that over 1.2 million over state retirement age still work, often part time and for many because they need the additional income to counter the rising cost of living and meagre pension (which is still lower than most Western European countries), so enforced working is not as productive as people voluntarily continuing to work (and paying taxes).

If the government wants more older people to work they need to promote the benefits of employing older people (50+) and age diversity to employers. If they need help in doing this we have excellent guides and information on our website and are happy to continue to offer our support along with other age organisations to partner any such initiative. The knowledge, experience and tools are there, the govt just needs to build and resource local and national partnerships with us , employers and trade unions to help upskill and update older job seekers and match them with employers and employment agencies.

Finally if they want to decrease the numbers of workless older people they need to address the health issues of long covid and other long term health conditions and support people with disabilities not through coercion but with free training and updating qualifications and resourcing education programmes for employers from all sectors including the recruitment industry.

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