A controversial study recommending that the state pension age is raised to 75 years old is tantamount to abolishing retirement, claims a pensioners’ group.
Right-wing Tory think-tank the Centre for Social Justice proposed raising the age when the state pension is paid to promote the UK economy.
The report Aging Confidently argues older people are a burden on public funds and that many aged between 50 and 64 years old give up work too early when they could stay economically active.
But Jan Shortt, general secretary of National Pensioners Convention, claims the proposal would see many people die before they qualified to collect their state pension.
“The longer you work the more ill you become and the less likely you are to even reach retirement age,” she said.
Removing barriers for old people
The government quickly moved to rule out the move even though the influential think tank is led by former Tory leader and MP Iain Duncan Smith.
A Department Of Work And Pensions spokesman said: “Everyone’s state pension age is unique to them and in 2017 we raised the future retirement age to 68 so that it is sustainable now and for future generations.”
The think-tank report explains the recommendation was not meant to undermine retirement, but working longer potentially improves health, wellbeing and pensioner finances.
“Removing barriers for older people to remain in work has the potential to contribute greatly to the health of individuals and the affordability of public services.
“This includes improved healthcare support, increased access to flexible working, better opportunities for training, an employer-led mid-life MOT.”
“As we prepare for the future, we must prioritise increasing the opportunity to work for this demographic to reduce involuntary worklessness. For the vulnerable and marginalised, a job offers the first step away from state dependence, social marginalisation and personal destitution.
“Provided that this support is in place, we propose an increase in the state pension age to 75 by 2035.
“While this might seem contrary to a long-standing compassionate attitude to an older generation that have paid their way in the world and deserve to be looked after, we do not believe it should be.
“Working longer has the potential to improve health and wellbeing, increase retirement savings and ensure the full functioning of public services for all.”