17 July 2006

Old People Aren't Useless

When the idea of a pension was first put into action (in the UK) in 1925, retirement age for men was 65, and women 60. Now, 80 years later, the retirement age for men is 65 and for women, 60 (although that is due to rise to 65 by 2020). General life expectancy since then has increased by about 15 years. Today's 65-year-olds are no longer worn out after a life of manual toil. They are in good health and there are plenty of physically undemanding jobs for them to do.

So why are they retiring? Obviously if i was in the situation where I could retire and live comfortably, I'd take it. But surely the age for retirement should be raised. I know that in the UK it will be
raised to 68 by 2044, but is that enough?

I done a little on-line test to calculate my life expectancy, and it looks like I should live 'til 87, which will give me 19 years to enjoy my retirement (although it could be longer with medical advances).

I think the retirement should be raised to 68 now, and move it gradually up as life expectancy increases. There is so much grey matter out there retiring well before they should. I worked with guy until last year, who retired at 58. He was still pretty fit and what I would consider as asset to his company, but for some reason they where perfectly happy to offer him early retirement.

Maybe it's a German problem, as people here tend to earn relative to their age, and not how useful they are, so companies maybe want to get them off the wage bill. Surely the wage graph of an average employee should be like a smooth curve, with it rising from the start until it peaks at around 50 (see graph), and then gradually declining until they leave the workforce. Here it just rises. I have a plan to go and work somewhere else in the world for the next 2-3 decades, and come back to Germany (or France, but i don't speak the lingo) for my last 10 years to take advantage of this practice (unless I'm loaded that is).


Anonymous said...

lol... take as much out of the German system you can (until they can afford it).
But it's true... I keep saying this for years too that the retirement age need to go UP. To at least 70 for now. You don't wanna raise it like the pensions with the inflation rate. You do it once in 20 year for a significant amount.
I think I know which colleague and which company you are talking about... incredible... but not paid by the tax payer, if the company can afford it, WHY NOT!

Anonymous said...

BTW... my life expantancy is 83.2!