The Economic and Research Institute is suggesting that people work until they are seventy. Like many supposed ‘economic experts’ they are using a doom and gloom language to suggest new ways of squeezing people harder.
This time the excuse is Brexit. Increasingly this is used as the justification for a new round of attacks on workers' conditions.
According to the ESRI, if we all work longer it will help the state’s finances.
However, the state has already used the crash of 2008 to push up the retirement age. The qualifying age for the state pension will rise to 67 in 2021 and then to 68 in 2028.
The transitional pension that is paid out at 65 has also been cut back and as a result thousands of workers must seek the means tested Job Seekers Allowance after nine months.
The raising of the pension age was part of a concerted EU strategy and in many countries the traditional age of retirement has been increased to 67 and 68.
However in other parts of Europe there were huge protests against this move. In Ireland, however, the trade union leaders did absolutely nothing because they had been incorporated into the government planning through social partnership.
The typical justification for raising the retirement age is that we are facing a pensions time bomb because of growing numbers of older people in the population is growing.
But this ignores one salient fact – the productivity of modern workers is vastly higher today than in the past. Fewer workers can support more pensioners.
Workers who voluntarily decide they want to work longer past 65 should be allowed to. But it should not be mandatory to work longer and the age for receiving the state pension should not be raised.
We should in get back to a retirement age of 65.