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De-Fixing Retirement Age

This week's Economist focuses on the anachronism of a fixed retirement age. In Britain, the idea of a normal retirement age of 65 was originally set in 1925. Since then, life expectancy at 65 has increased by five to six years. In 1983 the US changed retirement age from 65 to 67 which will be fully phased in by 2027. In Australia a common age for men and women of 65 will be in force from 2014. A bonus scheme has also been introduced which allows people to work on for 5 years and collect a bonus for deferring age pension age.

The Economist argues the idea of a “normal” retirement age belongs to another era. Alan Greenspan, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, is still working on at 76 and shows no sign of loosening his grip. Removing fixed retirement ages may make the costs of population ageing become manageable rather than insuperable.

Posted Tuesday, 17 December 2002

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