In view of increased life expectancy, the statutory retirement age should be raised

Science and technology has developed at an increasing rate. People are being treated for illnesses previously thought incurable, and as a result are living until a higher age. Therefore it seems common sense that the statutory retirement age should be raised as well. People cannot expect to work until 65 when they are going to live until 96; they will then work for 40 years and retire for 30 years. Therefore people who are in good health to carry on working the extra years should.

It will also take less pressure off social security. However even now, many people retire early and do not wait until they reach normal retirement age. Workers will they receive less than they would at the normal retirement age. Some workers do not have the option of working until the normal retirement age. Sometimes a worker’s health has already deteriorated to a point where working additional years is not possible. They may need to work longer to avoid retirement in poverty, but their health may prohibit them from doing so.

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Although life expectancy is expected to increase, people with low- income are expected the least amount of extra years. Clearly the benefit cut will hurt the workforce’s already most disadvantaged workers. A lot of people enjoy working and find that when they retire they get bored with nothing to fill their day. Some people find leaving their jobs scary. They miss work and interaction with colleagues. They feel when they work, they have a certain position and know who they are and how they relate to other people. Their job becomes a part of their identity.

When they retire, suddenly they have no commitments and they find it unnerving. There isn’t the yoke of having to achieve things and need to keep the sense of motivation they had at work. Others do not plan anything for their retirement other than visiting relatives abroad or getting the garden done. They set themselves goals that can be achieved, done once and for al, and then life becomes aimless for them. For these people, raising the retirement age is a blessing; they get to carry on with what they like doing and for some, a life which they feel secure with.

Some people may argue though, that retirement is a new beginning full of opportunities. Many people start new activities and do things which they enjoy but never had the time for. A lot of people would refuse their old jobs if they were offered back to them. Therefore for many people, retirement is a time to look forward to. However raising the retirement age also means less time spent in retirement for those who leave the workforce at the new normal age.

Although, on average, more people are living long enough to make it to their retirement years, they aren’t necessarily living to be much older than in the past. Therefore people’s retirement years will be reduced. Setting a statutory retirement age is difficult because everyone’s case is different and it is hard to compensate for every individual’s needs. However I believe pensions are intended as a safety net for the less well off to provide them with financial security for their basic necessities. Therefore if raising the retirement age will affect them the worst, it should not be raised.