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Old 04-02-2010, 01:48 PM
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http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62O0SO20100325

Demography is destiny
Quote:
Based near Oxford, England, he is in a minority of people who are not only still working, but also acquiring new skills as they head toward their 80s, Europe's fastest-growing age group.

Europe's policymakers hope workers his age and younger can serve as models for the citizens of an aging society.
....

If Europe's economies are to grow, older people will have to work for longer. But in a weak economic climate, not many employers want them.

DEMOGRAPHIC DEFICIT

A demographic cliche about China is that it will get old before it gets rich. The risk for Europe is from its richest generation, the ones who as young adults may have smoked Gitanes or sung "I hope I die before I get old" with The Who.

Having saddled their countries with debts, there's a strong chance they will lack the wherewithal to fund the "silver" consumer lifestyle typified by America's high-profile retirees. Instead, they risk forming an aging, stagnating bloc which further cripples its economies with the burden of their care.

"We are running into a serious financial problem combined with an aging and -- in countries like Germany -- a shrinking society," said Reiner Klingholz, director of the Berlin Institute for Population and Development.

"It will be very difficult, probably impossible, to generate overall growth."
....
China's rise is driven by a population boom which preceded Mao's one-child policy, but that has also created a major labor-force gap that's now only a few years away.

"China will be in deep trouble in 15 to 25 years," said Klingholz.

But how on earth is old Europe, with its 8 trillion euros of debt, industrial age attitudes and dyed-in-the-wool labor structures, to reach this brave new world?

This article looks at the problems.
....

Part of the problem might stem from different perceptions of age. Where in some industries, the phrase "too old to work at 40" can still resonate, when politicians deal with "old" people they tend to address the concerns of the elderly.

People like the shop worker Robinson, who took up his current job after retiring from a mobile home company at 68, do exemplify moves toward the goal of retaining older people in the workforce.
....


The European Commission has targeted a 50 percent employment rate for older workers by 2010, up from 45 percent in 2007. That average conceals very wide variations across the region, from around 13 percent in Hungary to 63 percent in Sweden, according to Allianz.

The participation of older workers has increased in recent years -- particularly in part-time jobs for men like Robinson, whose employer, retail chain B&Q, has for decades made a public point of its enthusiasm for older staff.
....

Avayou, by contrast, is getting by on half her former income: she is unemployed but unsure if she is entitled to a pension. Her story illustrates how the economic crisis could even exacerbate Europe's demographic deficit.

In what seems to be an consequence of clumsy legislation, she believes she is the victim of a new rule allowing people to work until 70 that takes effect in France this year. She says it sparked a drive by her employer to force a spate of workers into early retirement before it took effect.

Employers and policymakers do not always have shared interests.

"Allegedly, you can work until the age of 70. You could even raise the retirement age to 80. But as soon as you understand that the bosses can do whatever they like, it doesn't mean a thing," she said.
....

It's a phenomenon that may go beyond France. Where Europe has been making progress in putting a stop to early retirement -- Greece has pledged to eliminate it as part of pension reforms aimed at curbing its budget deficit -- companies facing the need to cut costs may well find it hard to see another way.

A survey last year of more than 5,000 companies in eight European countries found most employers needing to cut costs would, as first choice, let older workers go.

"In most countries, 56 to 70 percent of employers would be in favor or strongly in favor of achieving a reduction of staff levels by early retirement of older workers," said professor Kene Henkens, who coordinated the survey, conducted by Activating Senior Potential in Europe (ASPA) and analyzed by The Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI).

British charity Age UK in February said over 100,000 people had been forced to retire on or after turning 65 in the recession.
....

In Britain, where the state pension age is currently planned to be pushed back to 68 in 2046, consultancy PriceWaterhouseCoopers has argued a further delay -- to 70 -- would save about 0.6 percent of gross domestic product.

That would have a small "but nonetheless material" impact on the total cost of aging, which the government has put at more than 5 percent of GDP a year by 2060, PWC said in a report.

Against these deferred pension ages is the reality of the workplace. Even though early retirement was declining in the boom ahead of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, there is still a sizeable gap between the ages at which people tend to stop work and their pension year.

In most countries in Europe, employment rates start dropping between 55-59 years old and drop sharply after the age of 60, according to the European Commission. So if Europeans continue to leave the workforce early, they could be looking at a 10-15 year earnings hole before their pension kicks in.

....

By 2050, Europe's population of around 591 million is projected by the United Nations to have shrunk by more than eight percent while the United States and Canada, Latin America and Asia will each have grown by more than 30 percent, and Africa's will have more than doubled.

Of all the world's major regions, only Russia -- where a poor health system is slowing increases in life expectancy -- is set to lose a larger share of its population, according to the Berlin Institute for Population and Development.
...
With the proportion of the over-65s heading for 28 percent in Europe by 2050 and life expectancies stretching to 82 from around 76 in 2006, the generation of that increased productivity must be shared by its older members.

"Either you try to be productive -- work longer -- or you will receive less income when you're old. There's no other way," said Klingholz. "It's not going to rain euros from the sky."
...
"What worries me is we've spent the best part of two decades trying to purge early retirement out of the system," said Casey, alluding to the fundamental need to keep as many people in the labor force as possible. "Along comes the crisis and all the good work of the last two decades is undone.

"I worry that we're threatening to return to the early-retirement culture. We might have early retirement, but it will be less well compensated. That has implications in the short term for people's wellbeing, and for their future income."

Large-scale early retirement would pull the rug out from people who need to keep working. Those who in their more senior years in any case expect to sell assets to pay for their care may be forced to cash in earlier, further depressing economies.

And given circumstantial evidence that older people who are inactive tend to become more frequently ill, it may add to the strains on health systems.
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:52 AM
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:39 PM
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http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukp...r5DzJcbwqKX2-g

Quote:
Forcing older workers to retire cost the UK economy £3.5 billion last year, including £2 billion in lost earnings, a charity has claimed.
Age UK said an estimated 120,000 people were forced to retire in 2009, "draining" billions of pounds from the country's economy.
The group urged the main political parties to scrap the so-called default retirement age in a bid to end "forced retirement".
Age UK director Michelle Mitchell said: "While party leaders are gearing up to lock horns over the state of the economy, they should remember that scrapping the default retirement age is a simple step to boost public finances.
"Default retirement is not only an unfair, outdated piece of legislation, it also causes real harm to our economy and public finances by depriving the labour market of experienced, skilled workers who would otherwise be paying taxes.
"Nine in 10 older workers oppose forced retirement. It's now time for the parties to go beyond warm words and give mature workers a simple, radical pledge to scrap forced retirement."
Research for Age UK showed that almost 120,000 people aged between 65 and 70 were forced to retire in the last year, suggesting that most would otherwise have stayed in work.
You know what really impacts the UK economic situation?

A bunch of people on the govt dole. Evidently, it doesn't need to be the UK govt even.

Excuse me, I have bitchy letters to the editor to write.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:58 PM
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INDIA
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report...-to-65_1386040
Quote:
Government is thinking of increasing the retirement age of high court judges from 62 to 65 years....
….

The increase in retirement age would require a Constitutional amendment.

"Raising the retirement age of high court judges from 62 to 65 years will also aid in elimination of vacancies," a law ministry 'Blueprint' on legal and judicial reforms approved in principle by the Union Cabinet in November last year had said.

"If the retirement age of HC judges is increased, most HC judges would not like to get elevated to the SC...they want to come to the apex court as the retirement age in SC is 65 years," a senior law ministry official said.

Interestingly, Moily had recently informed the Rajya Sabha that "government at present is not considering to increase the age of retirement of judges."

There is a consensus among political parties to hike the retirement age of HC judges.

Over 40 lakh cases were pending in the 21 high courts of the country, which were facing a shortfall of 265 judges, according to latest official data.

While the sanctioned strength was 895, the 21 HCs were working with 630 judges
.
UK
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/p...ement-age.html
Quote:
It means more than 33 million or 68 per cent of workers intend to work beyond their standard retirement age – currently 60 for women and 65 for men.
They cited concerns about living below the breadline during retirement as the main reason for needing to earn additional income. According to the study by pensions group Aviva, one in 10 believe they will never be able to give up work.
….
Ros Altmann, a pension’s expert and governor of the London School of Economics, told The Daily Telegraph: “We’ve had years to prepare for this demographic time bomb, but unfortunately over the last decade or more, the Government has systematically undermined pension saving and failed to prepare us properly for what’s coming.
“Public sector workers have seen little or no change in their generous pension provision while the rest of the work force faces the prospect of struggling to survive on just about the lowest state pension in the developed world and nearly half will need to claim means tested handouts to avoid penury.”
Older workers can be forced to retire, but the new Government which has said it wants to phase out the default retirement age.
The study comes amid calls from economists to raise the state pension age to 70 to help pay for state pensions, reduce the public debt and reflect people living longer.
Official figures suggest almost 1.5 million people above the standard retirement age are currently working, a total of 12 per cent of all workers and an increase of 78,000 in the past year.
It is the biggest increase among all the age groups in the data provided by the Office for National Statistics.
Experts explained some workers also want to work beyond the existing default retirement age because of the social and emotional benefits
Clive Bolton, a director for Aviva Life, said: “Keeping minds active, staying out from under their partner’s feet and enjoying social interaction appear to be real benefits that are pushing people to keep working. Gradual or part-tirement appears to be a very real choice for many older people rather than the traditional rigid retirement age.”

FRANCE
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...hatsNewsSecond
Quote:
The French government said it plans to increase the retirement age, setting up a battle with unions who want the French to continue retiring earlier than most other Europeans.
The government said it plans to introduce a bill to raise the retirement age from the current minimum of 60—though it didn't say to what age—and create a new tax on high earners, to try to fix the nation's debt-choked pension system.
Unions have scheduled a nationwide demonstration on May 27 to protest the proposed overhaul.
….
Facing the same trends of slow growth and longer lifespans, several European Union countries have in recent years increased their retirement ages and cut pension payments. In 2007, Germany opted to gradually increase its standard retirement age to 67 from 65. Last year, Italy pegged future retirement ages to rising life expectancy.
….
Concerned that the system isn't sustainable, the government of President Nicolas Sarkozy sent a memo to unions, which it released on Monday. The government said the main response to "demographic imbalances" should be demographic. That implies raising the retirement age and the number of years of contributions to the state-run system needed to receive a full pension.

“We can't accept that," said Eric Aubin, a national delegate with the CGT union. "People can't find jobs when they are 55. Increasing the retirement age will push them into poverty."
If they want to retire early, they should save up to bridge from an early retirement age to a more reasonable one. Or maybe we can have some sort of Soylent Green arrangement. I look to assisted suicide becoming not only socially acceptable, but socially de rigeur.

Besides, isn't France the country where 25-year-olds have trouble finding work? So when do people actually work around there – 35? Must be nice to work for only 20 years. [note: I am joking]

an interesting tidbit:
http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...beyond-60.html
Quote:
The official retirement age in France was cut from 65 in 1983 by then President Francois Mitterrand. Life expectancy in France is 81, according to the World Bank.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:59 PM
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I have no clue how that ended up with a Canadian flag on it, but I like it, so I'm leaving it there.
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Old 05-27-2010, 07:01 AM
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UK
http://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/pm...rement-age.htm
Quote:




The Employers Forum on Age (EFA), an age equality group, has criticised government plans to “phase out” the default retirement age (DRA) as a “missed opportunity”.

Yesterday the new Liberal-Conservative coalition government revealed it would phase out the DRA rather than scrap it immediately, with more time allowed for consultation with businesses.

Phasing out the DRA means that employers will no longer be able to force people to retire at age 65.

The government also plans to bring forward the timetable for raising the state pension age to 66, although this will not be before 2016 for men and 2020 for women. The previous Labour government had planned to equalise men and women's retirement age at 65 by 2020.
….
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/10153785.stm
Quote:
Speeding up the raising of the state pension age from 65 to 68 is to be part of the UK government's first reforms.
The plan will be in the Pensions and Savings Bill, which was outlined in the Queen's Speech.
The state pension age is already scheduled to rise to 68 in stages, between 2024 and 2046.
Hey! The UK has got the US beat on top retirement age! We cannot allow this to stand!
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:17 AM
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FRANCE
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp...dmV1svpQv1AVPg
Quote:
The French government on Wednesday defended plans to raise the retirement age from the current 60 years as part of efforts to tackle its gaping welfare deficit.
"It is a logical option for the government. We are going to increase the legal age (of retirement)," Employment Minister Eric Woerth said, without giving a specific new figure.
….
The reduction of the minimum age for workers to receive a full state pension from 65 to 60 was in 1984 one of the key reforms of Socialist president Francois Mitterrand and remains cherished by the left.
The move to change the pension system in France has run into strong opposition and President Nicolas Sarkozy added fuel to the fire on Tuesday by reportedly criticising the current work and pensions system.
Sarkozy told members of his UMP party that France would "have far fewer problems" if Mitterrand had not lowered the retirement age and Socialists had not introduced the 35-hour working week, a UMP lawmaker told AFP.
….
Neighbouring Germany is raising its minimum age for a full state pension to 67 by the year 2029 and Berlin and many other European countries have begun large-scale budget cuts.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/28/wo...ht-france.html
Quote:
Thousands of French workers took to the streets Thursday to protest a government proposal to raise France’s minimum retirement age from 60, part of a raft of changes aimed at reining in a ballooning deficit in the state pension system.
But while large marches took place in several cities, including Marseille and Paris, and opinion polls showed that about two-thirds of French supported the strikes, only about one in five public-sector employees took part, news reports said. Disruptions to air traffic, public transportation, schools and other government services were minimal.
….
The C.G.T., France’s largest union, had called for a national protest against the pension overhaul, aiming for 850,000 demonstration participants. “Only a show of force on the streets can defend the 60-year retirement age and the social achievements that Nicolas Sarkozy is methodically attacking,” Bernard Thibault, the C.G.T.’s secretary general, said, referring to the French president.
Police estimates put the total number of protesters nationwide at no more than 350,000, far less than the 650,000 who protested the overhaul in March.
….
France, which has one of the lowest retirement ages in Europe, faces a rising public deficit that is expected to reach 8 percent of gross domestic product this year. The government has been negotiating with unions to increase the retirement age to 62 or 63 while lengthening the duration of social security contributions required for a full pension.
….
UK
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukp...4PZSRUbGXzJx9Q
Quote:
The age at which people can claim their state pension may be changed to rise in line with increases to life expectancy.
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said the state pension age could in future be indexed to increase in line with changes to longevity projections, as is the case in Denmark.
….
The Department for Work and Pensions has pointed out that since the timetable was first published, the Office for National Statistics has issued revised life expectancy projections.
These show that a man who turns 65 in 2020 is expected to live for a further 22.4 years on average, up from previous assumptions that he would live for another 20.9 years, upon which the increase to the state pension age was based.
Life expectancy projections for women follow a similar pattern.
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:07 PM
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Taiwan
http://www.csmonitor.com/Money/Stefa...retirement-age
Quote:
Yet in Taiwan, the working age is defined as everyone older than 15. By assuming that even people older than 65 or 75 is capable of working they have the kind of spirit which can solve the problems associated with an ageing population (meaning the increased burden of providing for people that have retired).

There are many proposed solutions to this problem, including increasing the birth rate, increasing immigration and the use of robots and other forms of mechanization, yet none is as effective as raising the retirement age. Because not only will this mean more workers, it will mean that the number of people the workers have to provide for will be fewer.
Of course, as long as only a small fraction of old people work, it can in some contexts be analytically misleading to include old people in the working age population, so the popular Western definitions are not always wrong. But to the extent Taiwan's definition an attitude that anyone capable and willing to work should do so no matter how old that person is, it increases Taiwan's chance of avoiding the problems associated with an ageing population.
NEW ZEALAND
http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/pers...retirement-age
Quote:
The number of New Zealanders*working for longer and putting off retirement is set to grow, according to new projections.
….
The latest mid-range labour force projection showed the proportion of workers aged 65 and over was expected to peak at 23 percent in 2028, up from 6 percent in 1991 and 12 percent in 2006.
….
SNZ population statistics manager Denise McGregor said the number of people in the workforce of retirement age and older was "increasing significantly".
"This is a direct result of changing attitudes to retirement and increased flexibility in the retirement age, along with increasing life expectancy and well-being in the older ages," she said.
FRANCE
the same story over and over while we're waiting for Sarkozy to propose something definite
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...l-pension.html
Quote:
"Raising the legal retirement age is inevitable," said Xavier Bertrand, the head of Mr Sarkozy's Right-wing UMP party. Mr Sarkozy has declared pension reform the single most important issue for the second half of his five-year mandate.
"We are the only country in Europe to have such a low legal age," Mr Bertrand said, calling the opposition Socialists "totally irresponsible" for seeking to maintain the status quo.
In Germany and Denmark, the retirement age is 67, while Britain may increase it to 68. But polls suggest the French are loath to work longer.
….
Mr Bertrand gave no new retirement age, but Arnaud Robinet, the MP in charge of pensions, said that it would be at least 62.
...oooh, 62 – way to go out on a limb there.
Such a pity that so many Frenchmen gave up their Galoises [sp], o/w they'd be able to keep that low retirement age.

...with a tie to the U.S.
http://moneywatch.bnet.com/economic-...o-up-too/2059/
Quote:
The French government is likely to announce an increase in the national retirement age, from the current 60 to 63. The financial crisis is causing soul-searching in a number of other European governments, and because retirement programs are so expensive, but can be adjusted with gradual changes over a long period, France is likely to be the first domino. And even though the U.S. has one of the higher eligible ages, I expect we’ll see some adjustments to our Social Security system too. Maybe not this year, but it’s got to happen, and if other governments make the first move it may give the U.S. a political and economic cover story.
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:20 AM
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Ah, the mobs have come to protest the raising of the retirement age from 60....to 62
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europ...ment-age-to-62
Quote:
A failure by the French left to mobilize sufficiently large street protests Thursday suggests a French government plan to increase retirement from age 60 to 62 may well succeed.

Like the generous French vacations, plentiful holidays, and a 35-hour work week, the lowest retirement age in Europe has been seen as nearly a sacred right by French workers since 1983, when Socialist President François Mitterrand reduced it from 65 to 60 with the flourish of a pen.
...it's not even putting it back to where it was pre-Mitterand. I guess that's why it was only a half-assed protest [“But I'm using my =whole= ass!”]

You know it's reality when people all along the political spectrum recognize there's a problem:
Quote:
Retirees earn more than workers

In a new study, the Paris left-leaning research firm Terra Nova says that for the first time, retired persons in France are pulling a greater monthly income than working people – giving further ammunition to younger generations, sometimes termed “precarious” here since they are not finding the jobs, nor achieving the “purchasing power” of their parents.

“What the government is proposing is pretty reasonable, given the demographic changes,” says Karim Emile Bitar of KB Consulting Group in Paris. “Sarkozy may have the upper hand, since the left did not gather enough support.”

Socialists appear divided on the question of retirement. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund and a leading Socialist contender for president in two years, made waves in recent days by calling for an end to a “dogmatic approach” to retirement. Socialist party leader Martine Aubry, however, says that if elected president she will restore retirement to age 60.
[of course, if they're retired, they're not actually =earning= anything.]

Anyway, Martine, I think it's clear that you and your fellow Socialists have failed by refusing to hold up the coolness of smoking. If only emphysema and lung cancer were more widespread, your country could afford a retirement age of 60.

For shame! Have you no respect for your culture's traditions?

I like a particular detail in a similar story:
http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/i...iew/full/90918
Quote:
The French government will finalise its pension reform proposal in July - the heart of the holiday season when it is harder for unions to organise opposition - and submit it to parliament in early September.
Zutalors! How sneaky of the French politicians to schedule votes when they by all rights should be participating in the grand tradition of going to the beach.

I think what is called for is some sort of committee to investigate un-French activities.

So let us see what the EU is recommending to Italy:
http://www.etaiwannews.com/etn/news_...&lang=eng_news
Quote:
The European Commission has told Italy to change rules that allow female civil servants to retire far earlier than male colleagues.

Italian men working in public administration can retire at 65, while women can retire at 60. Italy is slowly increasing the retirement age for women, but they won't have to quit work at 65 until 2018.

The European Commission, which called for an immediate increase Thursday, can ask the EU courts to force Italy to change its rules under threat of daily fines.

Separately, EU officials have called on Europeans to work longer to reduce the high cost of pensions to debt-laden governments. Italy currently has the highest level of debt in the 27-nation bloc.
Wait a sec, I thought the UK had a similar situation and was just as gradually changing the ages. Why aren't they being hit with a wet noodle?

I WANT ANSWERS.
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Old 06-14-2010, 02:08 PM
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Spain
http://itn.co.uk/a1174e0539d1727362ee81345993c933.html
Quote:
The Spanish Government has said it may press ahead with pension reform on its own if it fails to secure cross-party support for a plan to raise the retirement age.
….

In February Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero tested the waters on pension reform, announcing plans to to raise the retirement age to 67 from 65. The Government faced widespread anger from Spaniards and was forced to back down.
It's such a tough time now as a socialist. I feel for them.

[The feeling is schadenfreude, but still...]

THE NFL
A little bit of fun by a sportswriter [I don't want it to be all serious]
http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...ge-for-owners/
Quote:
But it raises a valid point.* Indeed, plenty of arguments could be advanced in support of a mandatory retirement age -- and more importantly in support of an age on which a person's driver's license spontaneously should disintegrate.* But given that the several NFL owners have migrated past their 85th birthdays (including Titans owner Bud Adams, Bills owner Ralph Wilson, and Lions owner William Clay Ford) and in light of the perception that Raiders owner Al Davis has lost his fastball due to age, Browne's comment (where in jest or otherwise) makes us wonder whether some within the league office (and possibly some of the other owners) would prefer that the older owners surrender the captain's chair sooner rather than later.

So that's your topic for discussion today.* Should the NFL require owners to step aside right after blowing out a small brush fire's worth of candles?

Before chiming in, keep in mind that, eventually, you'll be 85 too.* Hopefully.
What cracks me up are some of the comments taking the proposal a bit too seriously.

Okay, back to the serious stuff
THE NETHERLANDS
http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archive...ment_to_65.php
Quote:
PVV leader Geert Wilders, who hopes to become part of the next coalition, has dropped his party's opposition to an increase in the retirement age.

'It is a very important point but not a reason to wreck a [potential] cabinet,' the leader of the anti-Islam party told reporters.

And he repeated earlier statements that the PVV, which wants a ban on non-western immigration, is ready to join a government. A right-wing coalition comprising the PVV, VVD and CDA was an option and that 'is really good news', Wilders said. 'We want to work together and make compromises.'

The Liberals and CDA both want to increase the pension age from 65 to 67 over the next few years and Wilders refusal would have made a right-leaning coalition impossible.
MALAYSIA
http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/ne....php?id=505278
Quote:
In a move to retain experience and improve productivity, the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has called on the government to extend the retirement age in the private sector to 60.

MTUC vice-president A. Balasubramaniam said currently, the private sector followed the government's previous retirement age of 55, because there was no legislation requiring them to set an age limit for retirement.

He suggested that the proposed government amendments to the Employment Act 1955 should include a mandatory retirement age of 60.


"The government has now increased the retirement age to 58. Yet, the private sector is still sticking to 55, which is too young an age to retire," he told Bernama on Friday.


He said the majority of workers at 55 were still very healthy and could greatly contribute with their skills and vast experience.
Mandatory retirement ages are just so odd to me. Is that a union thing? I have no clue as to the history of forced retirement by age.
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