Work on

Readers' views No 246/247, December 2004-January 2005

The OECD promotes later retirement, yet, early retirement still seems to be the norm (“Fewer people, more heat”, by Donald J. Johnston, No. 244, September 2004).

Seen in a global context, workers in the west cannot afford to retire earlier and earlier. With the proportion of retired, semiretired or under-employed ageing persons in the UK set to double in the next 15 years, there will be an acute imbalance in national pension scheme income and expenditure. National productivity will also be affected, and when examined in contrast to longer-working lives in developed parts of Asia, will mean a further down-shifting in competitiveness. Today's younger people (under 40s) are hearing a lot of talk of having to retire later, and so they will not be too astonished when asked to work on to 70 or even beyond. It is today's retirees – the children of the 1960s – who are holding harsh reality at arm's length.

Dr Robert McCaffrey, Editorial Director UK Retirement magazine Epsom, Surrey

©OECD Observer No 246/247, December 2004-January 2005

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