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Make the optional retirement age 60 for men and women in the UK. Many workers are not fit enough to continue beyond that age (and some are already dead!)

Make the optional retirement age 60 for men and women in the UK. Many workers are not fit enough to continue beyond that age (and some are already dead!)

Why is this important?

People who reach age 60 and are unemployed have very little chance of finding employment. Technology alone will account for too many redundancies. Youth unemployment is at an all time high and in many cases earlier retirement will free up jobs for them. Many of the younger generation need to be given a chance to work and raising the retirement age is only making things worse for them.

To expect people to work longer and longer before they retire is based on the premise that people are living longer. Yet that does not apply to every segment of society; it is just an average. No government should be basing the age of retirement on average life expectancy. These figures are warped! Instead, they need to look at the areas of UK with lower life expectancy and base the age of retirement on that figure, minus at least five years for men and women. Otherwise the wealhy, who have longer life expectancies overall, are the only ones who will get to enjoy their retirement. The people who have slogged their whole lives MAY live to their age of retirement, but what will their quality of life be? So many are already ill when they retire. This is totally wrong and needs to be addressed by MPs.

An optional retirement age of 60 takes account of those differences and would not stop those in good health continuing to work should they wish to. It would be a much fairer system all round if people were given that choice. As a bonus, this would reduce the costs of operating huge bureaucracies suchs The Deptment for Work and Pensions, who at present continue to push older people into employment that is just not there, (and please, lets be honest for once, it really isn’t), often including those who are sick and disabled. People having to sign on in their 60s is ridiculous. They deserve more dignity than that.

This money would be better spent on helping younger people into work and the older people to retire. Many have worked all their lives since they were 15 and I don’t feel you took any of this into account when you changed the retirement age drastically for women born in the 1950s, . Some have not been able to work all the time, due to ill-health or raising families, but this doesn’t matter. We are a welfare state and all should be treated equally. Not only will they work longer than the next generation, who’s education tends to continue for longer, but they’re supposed to continue working for 51 years in all! It’s ludicrous! No-one should be forced to work that long. We shouldn’t be treated like “stock”, we should be treated like people, which is what we are.

Lowering the retirement age would enable younger people to pay into the system and their own pensions, which in turn helps the economy. Letting the young stagnate while bullying the old, the sick, the disabled people into work which they have little chance of obtaining, is not to anyone’s benefit!

It was right that the EU wanted us to equalize ages of retirement for men and women. In this regard, men had been discriminated against for too long. It was wrong, however, to make women born in the 1950s to bear the brunt of those changes. The age for men to retire should have been reduced to 60. This would have been a much more equitable way to resolve the discrimination. Many people die in their 60s and earlier, in spite of statistics, and the way things stand now, some people will be forced to work until they die, without a chance to retire!

I personally have lost two good friends to illness when they were only in their early 50s. Another friend had a stroke at 39. My uncle died aged 36 of a heart attack. I could go on. These are real people, not statistics.

People who retire at 60 still have much to give to society. Allow them the opportunity to enjoy their retirement on a state pension and free them up to contribute to society in ways that differ from paid work. At the same time, give the youngsters a chance to participate fully in society. Many have never had that chance!

Reducing the optional retirement age to 60, while allowing people to work longer should they wish to, is a win win situation for everybody. Not everything is about money, though it seems to have become that way in the UK. Besides, importantly, people have paid for their pensions. They are not a benefit. They are a right!

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