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  #571  
Old 10-17-2018, 01:17 PM
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Please tell me they at least had the foresight to make this temporary. They're going to regret it if not.
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Old 10-17-2018, 01:59 PM
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Oh, I -could- tell you that.

But would you believe it?
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  #573  
Old 10-25-2018, 02:27 PM
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CROATIA

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news...t-age-10847764

Quote:
Croatians protest over government plan to raise retirement age

Spoiler:
ZAGREB: Several thousand people protested in Croatia's capital on Saturday over government plans to raise the retirement age to 67 and cut pensions for those who retire early.

This week the government asked parliament to pass legislation lifting the retirement age of 65 from 2033 onwards, defending the reform as a step in efforts to make the pension system sustainable.

The bill also includes a proposal to cut the pensions of people who stop working before reaching retirement age by about four percent per year.

"There is a lot of misery and bitterness in us. Isn't such a retirement proposal irresponsible towards our workers and pensioners?," Kresimir Sever, one of the leaders of the trade unions that organized the protest, told the crowd gathered in central Zagreb.

Some of the demonstrators shouted "Thieves", and many held banners accusing the government of impoverishing pensioners and workers. "From school to unemployment, from work to graveyard" read one of the banners.

Workers representing metal industry employees, nurses and other professions took turns to address the rally, saying they cannot work until the age of 67.

"I work in the rain and the burning sun. My legs and back have to carry hundreds of overloaded waste bins every day. I've already had a surgery on one knee, the other one will have to be treated soon," a worker from a waste collection and disposal company, who said his name was Elvis, told the gathering.

Trade union leaders say the new law would particularly hurt older employees, who are often under pressure to retire earlier for health reasons or because the employers want to get rid of older staff. They have also pointed out that Croatians have a shorter life expectancy than people in many other European Union countries.

The unions have vowed to launch a campaign for a nationwide referendum to be called over the pension reform proposal if the government rejects their demands to scrap the plan.

For a referendum to take place, supporters of the ballot must collect the signatures of 10 percent of the electorate, equivalent to roughly 375,000 people.

Economic analysts and researchers say Croatia cannot make its pension system sustainable in the long term without increasing the retirement age.


Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news...t-age-10847764
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Old 10-25-2018, 02:28 PM
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PRUDENTIAL SINGAPORE

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/ban...-age-for-staff

Quote:
Prudential Singapore scraps retirement age for staff

Spoiler:
AT Prudential Singapore, age is indeed just a number.

The insurance company has removed the retirement age of 62 in its company HR policy, paving the way for its 1,100 employees to have extended careers and decide when they want to retire, if at all.

Removal of the retirement age will also allow employees to "fulfil their personal and financial aspirations", said the company, which enacted the new policy on Oct 1.

Prudential Singapore's chief executive Wilf Blackburn said that scrapping the retirement age of 62 made more sense for an ageing population which has an average lifespan of 83.1 years, and which is now nudging 100.


He noted that people who stopped work at 62 could be looking at nearly 40 years of retirement if they live to 100, adding that a long retirement period could pose financial challenges should they outlive their savings.

SEE ALSO: Prudential Singapore scraps retirement age for staff
A prolonged period of inactivity could also lead to health and social problems, Mr Blackburn said.

"With this in mind, we decided to scrap the retirement age so that our employees can continue to work in Prudential for as long as they are able to perform their jobs well. We want to empower them to decide when they want to retire, or if they wish to retire at all, rather than specify a work expiry date," Mr Blackburn said.

There are six people aged 62 and above in Prudential's employ, who are eligible for re-employment in the next five years, the firm said.

With the new policy, they can now stay on in their jobs, continue drawing the same salary as before, and be entitled to the same benefits - including medical - as all employees, Prudential said. They will still receive a retirement payout any time they choose to leave their jobs.

"There is a lot that businesses can gain by tapping on the experience and knowledge of the more mature employees. At Prudential, we see this group of employees as valuable assets and are committed to support them in extending their productive years by offering them re-skilling opportunities and flexible work schedules as we scrap the retirement age," Mr Blackburn said.

The company said that its new retirement policy was in line with the Republic's ambition to leverage its rapidly ageing workforce, and that it was introduced alongside the insurer's Ready for 100 report which "explores the readiness and aspirations of Singapore residents" to live to 100.

Luke Hee, general secretary of the Singapore Insurance Employees' Union, told The Business Times that the union, which has been in talks with management, "welcomes this enlightened move by Prudential to enable our employees to continue working for as long as they wish to". "With this initiative, the company is essentially removing any age factor to one's value in the job," he said.

Mr Hee added: "It is important to know that lifting the age bar is only one aspect of a more holistic approach in ensuring that our employees can continue to contribute to the company meaningfully. Nevertheless, it is certainly a positive step forward for both the company and employees."


https://sbr.com.sg/hr-education/news...-age-employees
Quote:
Prudential scraps retirement age for employees

Spoiler:
The statutory retirement age of 62 is quite still far from Singapore's average lifespan of 83.1.

Prudential revealed that it will be allowing its employees to work beyond the statutory retirement age of 62 as life expectancy booms in Singapore.

The company acknowledged that retirement by 62 ‘may no longer make sense’ with Singapore’s average lifespan of 83.1 given that it is approaching an ageing population which is edging towards 100, Prudential Singapore CEO Wilf Blackburn said.

“If we stop work at 62, we are looking at nearly 40 years of retirement if we live to 100,” Blackburn explained. “Such a long retirement period may pose financial challenges should you outlive your savings. Moreover, a prolonged period of inactivity may also lead to health and social problems, the CEO added.

Prudential’s new retirement policy which came into effect on 1 October was introduced on the back of the firm’s Ready for 100 report which explores the readiness and aspirations of Singapore residents to live to 100.

Prudential currently has six employees aged 62 and above who are eligible for re-employment in the next five years.

The new policy gives them the option to stay on in their jobs and be entitled to the same benefits, including medical, as all employees whilst drawing the same salary as before. Prudential noted that they will still receive a retirement payout any time they choose to leave their jobs.


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  #575  
Old 10-25-2018, 02:32 PM
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POLAND
JUDGES

http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-e...019-story.html

Quote:
EU court tells Poland to suspend measure lowering retirement age for Supreme Court judges

Spoiler:
The European Union's top court ruled Friday that Poland must immediately suspend politically charged measures relating to the lowering of retirement age for judges on the country’s Supreme court.

The ruling, which has the potential to further strain relations between the two, also obliges Poland to restore to their jobs those Supreme Court judges who had been forced into retirement due to having reached or passed the age of 65.


The forced retirements are part of a sweeping reform that Poland's conservative government is making to the judiciary. The government argues that the country's judiciary was not properly reformed after the end of communism in 1989 and removing justices from that era will make the justice system efficient and fairer.

Opponents say the government will use the law to appoint new judges loyal to the authorities.

Over 20 judges have been forced out.

The EU Commission, which referred the policy change to the European Court of Justice, insisted that the age cap violated the rule of law. Also Supreme Court judges referred the forced retirements to the European court, saying they went against the Polish Constitution.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in Brussels that his government had received the court's notification and will "respond after analyzing it."

Other officials have indicated that Poland will abide by EU laws, but insisted they first need to know the details of the court's decision.


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  #576  
Old 11-20-2018, 07:44 AM
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THE NETHERLANDS

https://www.ai-cio.com/news/dutch-pe...xpectancy-dip/

Quote:
Dutch Pension Age Increase Stalled Due to Life Expectancy Dip
Because of winter 2017’s flu epidemic, the Netherlands will not see a rise in the retirement age past 2022.

Spoiler:
A slump in the life expectancy forecast has delayed the incremental climb of the Dutch pension age, according to Wouter Koolmees, the Netherlands minister for social affairs.
As a result, the retirement age won’t be raised in 2024.
The government has been gradually increasing its pension eligibility age, beginning in 2012, when the retirement age was 65. The retirement age, currently 66, is set to jump by another three months next year.
The current schedule would set the pension age at 67 and three months in 2022, to keep the pension program affordable. The government also has allowed employees within five years of retirement to make additional contributions to the program to bolster their benefits.
The nation’s pension age is based partly on an annual longevity estimate from Statistics Netherlands. The average life expectancy in the Netherlands is about 81 years.
The Dutch authorities concluded that life expectancy had dropped by about five months for 65-year-olds in 2017 due to the winter’s flu epidemic. As a result, the pension age won’t rise past its 2022 bar, and will now increase in accordance with life expectancy from that point.
By Chris Butera

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  #577  
Old 11-20-2018, 07:46 AM
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PHILIPPINES

https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/11/15/ho...ent-age-to-56/

Quote:
House approves bill lowering gov’t optional retirement age to 56

Spoiler:
The House Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization has approved a bill seeking to lower optional retirement age among government employees to 56.

The Joint Session of the Senate and the House of Representatives on the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao commences in the Plenary of the Batasang Pambansa on December 13, 2017. (ALVIN KASIBAN / MANILA BULLETIN)
(MANILA BULLETIN)

The House panel decided to pass the substitute bill, a consolidation of nine measures, proposing amendments to Republic Act 8291 or the Government Service Insurance System Act of 1997.

“With lower optional retirement age, the retirees can enjoy a better quality of life through their pension and retirement benefits at an earlier age, as a bill is already being introduced to lower age to qualify as a senior citizen, ” AKO BICOL partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe, one of the authors of the bill, said.

The substitute bill seeks to lower the optional retirement age of government workers from 60 years to 56 years. The measure specifically amends Section 13-A of Republic Act 8291.

“The lower retirement age ultimately helps the bureaucracy as it hastens the turnover of government positions to younger professionals, making way for the fusion of fresh blood in public service. Countless cases involving public officers emphasize the need for a younger workforce in government to inject new perspectives and insight into the ranks,” Batocabe said.

“The bill also creates more employment opportunities for those seeking employment in the government and a chance to serve the country,” he said.

The substitute bill provides that a member who retires from the service shall be entitled to the retirement benefits provided that he or she has rendered at least 15 years of service; at least 56 years of age at the time of retirement; and not receiving a monthly pension benefit from permanent total disability.

“This bodes well for the families of our retirees as well, as our retirees have more time to spend with their loved ones in relative comfort. Our retirees and their families will enjoy the fruits of decades’ worth of labor and will lessen the burden on the family’s spending,” Batocabe said.

Other authors of the bill are Reps. Antonio Tinio, Maria Carmen Zamora, Mercedes ‘Didi’ Cagas, Strike Revilla, Nancy Catamco, Marlyn Primicias-Agabas, Marisol Panotes, and Lorna Silverio.


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  #578  
Old 11-23-2018, 05:21 PM
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UNITED KINGDOM
WOMEN

https://www.theguardian.com/money/20...verty-concerns

Quote:
Rise in women’s state pension age prompts poverty concerns
Accelerated timetable for achieving parity has hit women hard, say campaigners
Spoiler:
The state pension age for women will rise to 65 on Tuesday to match men for the first time, reaching a milestone that has prompted warnings from campaigners that the pace of equalisation has left some female retirees facing poverty.

The equalisation of the state pension age at 65 is the first step towards a rise to 66 for both sexes in two years (October 2020), and a planned further increase to 67 starting from 2026. Another rise to 68 from 2039 was recommended by the official Cridland review this year, which will hit workers currently in their late 30s and early 40s.

The accelerated timetable for equalising then raising the state pension age has hit women especially hard, according to the campaign group Waspi (Women against state pension inequality), with about 3.8 million women born in the 1950s forced to wait up to an extra six years to receive a state pension.


Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate - sent direct to you
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In protests outside parliament last month, Waspi said a lack of sufficient information about the rise meant many women did not find out about it until they reached 60, leaving them with no time to make alternative plans.

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The former pensions minister Ros Altmann said: “The state pension age may be equalising but there is no pensions equality for women.”

She said the government increased the state pension age for older women by up to 18 months with only five years’ notice, while men had seven years’ notice of a 12-month change. “The short notice changes have caused significant hardship to many women, especially as many did not know about the original plans to increase their pension age from 60.”

Frances Kew, 58, from Edinburgh, is typical of the millions of women who have had their pension delayed. She told the Guardian in October that the HM Revenue & Customs website showed her, when she took voluntary retirement in 2010, that she would obtain the state pension on her 60th birthday in February 2020.

But she was later informed that her state pension age had been pushed back to her 66th birthday, in February 2026. “Now I find myself in desperate circumstances, wondering if I am going to have to sell my home, which I have worked for all my life,” she said.

Waspi said it had “always supported” the equalisation of the state pension age, but “the fact that men and women are now equal in the age they will retire makes little or no difference to the problems that women born in the 1950s face as they approach retirement”.

Lower wages and broken employment periods, which may result in women failing to build a full national insurance record, mean they receive lower state pensions than men. In November 2017, the average weekly amount of state pension received by women, at 126.45 per week, was 82% of that received by men (153.99).

Women in their 60s also have a fraction of the pension savings that men have. According to a report by the Chartered Insurance Institute last week, the average 65-year-old woman has 35,800 in her pension, compared with 179,000 for the average 65-year-old man.

A spokeswoman for Waspi said: “Clearly, equalisation is not simply just about the age you reach retirement, but also about your ability to accrue a full state pension entitlement, and generate a private pension to have any hope of security in retirement.”

Experts said while there was substantial publicity in the 1990s about the forthcoming equalisation of pension ages, there was little notice of the acceleration of the timetable in the 2011 Pensions Act.


Sign up to the daily Business Today email or follow Guardian Business on Twitter at @BusinessDesk
Nathan Long, a senior pensions analyst at the financial advisers Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Undoubtedly there was widespread coverage of the increases to state pension age over the years from 1995. It cannot be proven whether the women affected by these changes were given reasonable notice.

“For those women affected by the acceleration to the state pension age in the 2011 act in particular, the changes were introduced abruptly and with relatively little time to adapt.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “The decision to equalise the state pension age between men and women was made over 20 years ago and achieves a long-overdue move towards gender equality. As we are all living considerably longer than when pensions were introduced, we need to adjust the pension age to ensure the sustainability of the state pension now and for future generations.”

Pensions Q&A
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It is estimated that equalising the state pension age at age 65 saves the Treasury about 5bn a year. Photograph: Nick Ansell/PA
What’s happening to the state pension age?
It equalises on Tuesday for men and women at 65, but in October 2020 it goes up by another year, to 66 for men and women, then to 67 from 2026.

Why are campaign groups objecting to the change?
The campaign groups support equality; their issue is how it has been reached. Equalisation at age 65 was proposed in the Conservative chancellor Norman Lamont’s budget of 1993, with legislation set in train in 1995 for men and women’s entitlement to be equalised in 2020. But the Pensions Act 2011 accelerated the process to achieve parity by 2018. This means many women have had little time to prepare.

Who are the women most affected?
Those born in the 1950s, numbering about 3.8 million, according to Waspi. A woman born on 1 May 1950 would have received her pension at 60, while a woman born in on 1 May 1960 will not receive hers until she is 66, in 2026.

But women will receive the same state pension as men, so what’s the issue?
While the basic state pension of 125.95 a week and the “new” state pension of 164.35 a week are the same for men and women, many fewer women receive the full amounts as they don’t have a full national insurance record. Under the new, higher, state pension, you will need 35 years of national insurance contributions (NIC). For every “missing” year of NIC under 35 years, your state pension will be reduced by 1/35th. This is likely to hit women who have career breaks for children.

Meanwhile, as Altmann points out, the lowest earners (mostly women) are left out of the national insurance scheme. Also, of the half-million people over 80who receive pension credit, 450,000 are women, but do not benefit from the “triple lock” applying to the state pension. The triple lock guarantees that the basic state pension will rise by either 2.5%, the rate of inflation or average earnings growth – whichever is largest.

How much money does the state save through equalisation?
It is estimated that equalising at age 65 saves the Treasury about 5bn a year. Moving everyone up to 67 will save 76bn in the first 10 years and mean that those working the additional years between 65 and 67 will pay an extra 11bn in income tax and NIC, according to government estimates.

How do I find out when I get my state pension?
Here, on gov.uk/state-pension-age
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...et-speech.html
Quote:
Women furious at the rise in the pension age INTERRUPT the Budget by mounting a noisy protest in the Commons as opposition MPs give them a standing ovation
Around 80 women waved purple banners with placards saying 'Waspi' on them
Women Against State Pension Inequality banged on window of public gallery
They are furious over raise of state pension age for women from 60 to 66
There was no mention of state pension in Philip Hammond's budget speech

Spoiler:
Women furious over pension inequality cut off the end of Philip Hammond's budget speech today with a noisy protest from the Commons public gallery.

Around 80 members of the Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) group waved purple banners and chanted in protest at the Government's decision to raise the state pension age from 60 to 66.

Their banners, in the group's signature purple, read: 'The Great Pension Robbery', while others were just branded 'Waspi'.

The protesters were quickly escorted out by security, but were met with a standing ovation by Labour and SNP MPs.

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Around 80 members of the Women Against the State Pension Inequality (Waspi) group chanted in protest at the Government's decision to raise the state pension age from 60 to 66 +6
Around 80 members of the Women Against the State Pension Inequality (Waspi) group chanted in protest at the Government's decision to raise the state pension age from 60 to 66

The campaigners' banners were in the group's signature purple and read: 'The Great Pension Robbery', while others were just branded 'Waspi' +6
The campaigners' banners were in the group's signature purple and read: 'The Great Pension Robbery', while others were just branded 'Waspi'

The women's actions were met with a a standing ovation by Labour and SNP MPs (pictured) +6
The women's actions were met with a a standing ovation by Labour and SNP MPs (pictured)

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Waspi's aim is to get rid of the six year difference in pension age for some 3.9million women.

There was no mention of pension inequality in Mr Hammond's speech, which opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn slammed.

Opposition MPs took to social media after Mr Corbyn's speech to praise the actions of the pension protesters.

Labour MP for Bury James Frith tweeted: 'All power to you #WASPI women. Nothing from this impotent Budget from this limping government. Demonstrating in the public gallery at the conclusion of the #Budget2018.'

SNP MP for Edinburghy South West Joanna Cherry QC added: 'Well done to the #waspiwomen protesting in the public gallery.

The protesters (pictured) were quickly escorted out by security, but were met with a standing ovation by Labour and SNP MPs +6
The protesters (pictured) were quickly escorted out by security, but were met with a standing ovation by Labour and SNP MPs

'It's a total disgrace the Chancellor has nothing to offer them. @theSNP will continue to put your case forward @WASPI_Campaign #Budget2018 #WASPI.'

Anne Keen, a co-founder of the group, said afterwards that the Chancellor's decision not to provide relief was 'an insult'.

She said: 'He can give money for toilets but not to hardworking women. It's an insult, it's so disrespectful.

'He was going on about rewarding hardworking people, we've worked since we were 15 - 45 years.

'We only want what we're entitled to. We're angry, we've been betrayed and we're not going to go away until this is resolved, we will not be silenced.

'Our mantra from now on is deeds not words. We want action from the Government on this.'

There was no mention of pension inequality in Mr Hammond's speech (pictured delivering his budget speech today) which opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn slammed +6
There was no mention of pension inequality in Mr Hammond's speech (pictured delivering his budget speech today) which opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn slammed

Cheryl Sloan, a regional organiser of the group, said: 'We waited to see if he was going to mention anything about pensions and he didn't. It's the same old same old, they're totally ignoring us.

'We were banging on the window shouting 'shame on you'. We had many more banners and posters to wave but we were frisked on the way in.

'Politicians need to realise that we are not going to go away, we will keep making our voice heard.

'All we want is what we're owed, we've lost 48,000 on average because of this. It's not right.'

The campaign group was set up in 2015 on behalf of millions of women, born in the 1950s, who since 1995 have twice seen the start date for their state pensions pushed back.




https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...ings-injustice
Quote:
Pensions Industry
This isn’t pension equality. This is a clear injustice to older women
Anne Perkins
Anne Perkins
Equality in pension age will not magically deliver equal pay or lifelong earnings power – the new rules entrench unfairness
Spoiler:
t’s gender equality day today, the day when women finally catch up with men; but don’t worry, you haven’t missed the party because there wasn’t one. All it means is that as from this date, 6 November 2018, women and men must both be 65 before they can claim their state pension. Naturally, it is important that women and men be treated equally, except that’s not what’s happening. Equality in pension age will not magically deliver equality in pay or lifelong earnings power – or even access to a full state pension. And if you want to understand how class and gender inequality intersect to create a double whammy of disadvantage, you need only consider how a prized universal benefit like the state pension offers least help to those who need it most.

This would be much less well understood without the tireless efforts of Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi), the campaign at the forefront of the defence of that generation of women who planned their lives around retirement at 60 – only to discover that the government had moved the goalposts. Some women will now have to wait six extra years before they qualify for their state pension.


Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate - sent direct to you
Read more
No mathematical skill is required to see why change is necessary: according to the Office for Budget Responsibility, the breathtaking bill for state pensions last year was very nearly 94bn. That’s already about 12% of total public spending, and with a rapidly aging population, pensioners will only take more and more of a pot generated (unless immigration controls are loosened or it suddenly becomes affordable and desirable to have half a dozen children) by fewer and fewer taxpayers. It’s not the change itself that’s the cause of the injustice, it’s the way it was done.

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Getting old is hard to imagine until you’re there. Planning for getting old – spending less now in order to be able to have more later – is even harder. (It’s an unaffordable luxury when there’s barely enough for essentials.) But blithe careless youth gifts politicians and policymakers the freedom to look only at the sums rather than think about the people whose interests might be damaged by consequences. That’s the kindest explanation for why it didn’t occur to the Department for Work and Pensions that it actually needed to warn the women affected to adjust their expectations. On the other hand, maybe they did think of it, but then said to themselves, it’ll just be a bunch of old women: no problem.

Without Waspi’s sheer bloody-mindedness, they could have been right. But it was clear from the coverage of the protest after the chancellor failed to mention pensions in his budget last week, that the sense of injustice has gone mainstream. A chancellor not overwhelmed by the implications of Brexit would have realised long ago that the relatively small amount of cash needed to compensate the worst affected women was fair and just. But even if he had, he would not be able to ignore the extent of pension injustice for women that has become clear.

In a blog this week, Ros Altmann, one of the handful of actual women who has been pensions minister, detailed all the little ways women lose out. Starting at the top with the decision to increase women’s state pension age by more than men’s with less notice, Altmann spells out how gender inequality is perpetuated by the state pension system.

It’s not that the thought processes of pensions policymakers are entirely furred up by residue from the patriarchy. The last Labour government introduced ambitious reforms such as the “carers credit”. Some of the sources of gender inequality are not easily remedied. But it should not have come as a surprise to the Whitehall actuaries sucking their teeth over the future pensions bill that for the generation of women born in the 1950s, less likely to have worked all their lives, much less likely to have had a well-paid job, and very much more likely to have had work and contributions interrupted by kids or other caring responsibilities, the abrupt change of pension age was all too likely to come as a devastating blow.

And it should also be clear now that without really serious intervention to tackle wider inequalities, pensions inequality is only going to get worse. The interim report from John Cridland proposes increasing the pension age to 68, creeping up in line with life expectancy. Except while the pension age goes up for everyone, life expectancy doesn’t. The gap between women and men is narrowing, and increasingly the distinction stems from where you live, and how you live: the life expectancy gap between Britain’s poorest and richest neighbourhoods has got wider in the last two decades. The unjust state pension is becoming the mirror of an unequal state.

• Anne Perkins is a former deputy political editor of the Guardian


https://www.ai-cio.com/news/uk-pensi...n-ex-minister/

Quote:
UK Pension Equalization Angers British Women, Ex-Minister
Activist groups, Altmann disregard Parliament’s ‘gender equality’ measure.


Spoiler:
The pension age for women in the UK has risen in-line with men, and a lot of Brits are not happy about it.

As of Tuesday, UK women will now have to wait until age 65 to collect their retirement benefits, equal to their male counterparts. The eligibility age will again rise in October 2020, to 66, and again to 67 between 2026 and 2028. Parliament is also considering increasing the age to 68 by 2039, as suggested by a study group.

Women could previously retire at age 60.

Plans to equalize the benefits age have been around since 1995, and measures in 2011 accelerated the bump, but letters concerning the changes were mailed very late to recipients both times.

In addition to longevity, the government has insisted the move is also a step toward gender equality, but thousands of protesters and activist groups such as the Women’s Equality Party and the WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) aren’t buying it.

“These changes to the state pension age for women were cynical exercises by both a Tory and a coalition government to raise 30bn from 3.8 million women,” Sophie Walker, the Women’s Equality Party leader, told the Guardian at a protest march to Parliament last month.

“Many of these women didn’t find out about the pension changes until they literally went to get their pension or finally got sent an official letter 16 years after the change had been made, leaving them with no time to make alternative financial arrangements,” she said.

The increase in pension age requirements have not only angered many British women, but politicians as well.

In a blog post, Ros Altmann, a former minister of the state department for work and pensions, wrote about how the change will do more harm than good.

“Equal pension ages but not pension equality: Women have always had lower pensions than men, leaving them at greater risk of later life poverty, especially as women tend to live longer than men,” she wrote. “An increasing proportion of women are single and cannot rely on a partner’s pension for retirement income.”

The average life expectancy for people in the UK is about 80.1 years, according to the World Bank.

“The decision to equalize the State Pension age between men and women was made over 20 years ago and achieves a long-overdue move towards gender equality,” a Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson told iNews. “As we are all living considerably longer than when pensions were introduced, we need to adjust the pension age to ensure the sustainability of the state pension now and for future generations.”
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Old 11-30-2018, 12:19 AM
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UNITED STATES

http://squaredawayblog.bc.edu/square...-retire-later/

Quote:
Boomers Find Reasons to Retire Later

Spoiler:
It is one of “the most significant labor market trends” in the United States, says Wellesley College researcher Courtney Coile.

Bar graph showing the average retirement ages for men and womenShe’s referring to big increases since the 1980s and 1990s in the share of older Americans in the labor force, including one in three men in their late 60s.

As for women, the baby boomers were really the first generation to thoroughly embrace full-time employment. Older women’s participation in the labor force hasn’t quite caught up with their male coworkers, but they’ve made impressive strides since the 1980s and have rapidly closed the retirement-age gap.

Given the implications of this trend for retirement security – the longer people work, the better off they’ll be – Coile and many other researchers have investigated what’s driving it. They agree on several things that are changing the retirement calculation.

College. College graduation rates have increased dramatically over the past few decades, and people who’ve spent at least some time in college tend to remain in their jobs longer. This trend has played a big role in the increase in baby boomers’ participation in the labor force, Coile said.

Social Security. Three major reforms to the program have boosted U.S. retirement ages. A 1983 reform is slowly increasing the age at which workers are eligible to receive their full benefits, from 65 for past generations to 67 for workers who were born after 1959. This amounts to a significant benefit cut at any given age that a retiree claims his benefits. Various studies show that this has created an incentive to delay signing up for Social Security in order to increase the size of the monthly benefit checks.

The 1983 legislation also played a role in pulling up the average retirement age by providing larger monthly benefit increases for people who delay Social Security beyond their full retirement age. In 2000, a third reform ended the temporary withholding of some benefits that had been in place for people in their late 60s who worked while simultaneously collecting Social Security.

Employer retirement plans. Two employer benefits that encourage people to retire at relatively young ages have largely gone by the wayside in the private sector. First, the pervasiveness of employer health insurance for retired workers, by reducing their medical costs, used to make it easier for people to afford retirement before Medicare kicks in. And traditional pensions often gave workers a strong incentive to retire by their early to mid-60s, if they reached the target age and years of service required to maximize their pension credits.

Pensions have largely been replaced by 401(k)-style retirement savings plans, which have the opposite effect. Studies show that people with 401(k)s retire about one and a half years later than similarly situated people with pensions. The reason: older workers don’t always have a clear idea about when they should retire, but they do know they can keep improving their future finances by saving more and reducing the length of time they’ll have to fund their retirement.

Wives’ influence. More women than ever are working, and couples often coordinate their retirement dates. Since husbands are three years older, on average, it is common for them to delay their own retirement until their wives retire.

Health and longevity. In recent decades, Americans have generally been getting healthier and living longer, and older people may consider this and set a later retirement date. Our parents’ longevity is another influence on our expectations of long we’ll live. One study found that if someone’s parent dies unexpectedly, the worker is more likely to retire earlier than he’d planned.

Economic changes. The shift away from manufacturing to a service-oriented economy means that more jobs aren’t as physically taxing, which makes it easier to work longer.

The research clearly shows that the average retirement age for baby boomers has increased as they have continually adapted to the multitude of changes that have occurred over their lifetimes.

The more difficult question for researchers to answer is when the forces that pushed up the retirement age will finally play themselves out.

Squared Away writer Kim Blanton invites you to follow us on Twitter @SquaredAwayBC. To stay current on our blog, please join our free email list. You’ll receive just one email each week – with links to the two new posts for that week – when you sign up here.


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Old 11-30-2018, 05:48 PM
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THE NETHERLANDS

https://www.ipe.com/countries/nether...028306.article

Quote:
Dutch parliament: Government must slow down retirement age increases

Spoiler:
The Dutch government must slow down the rate at which it plans to increase the state pension age, politicians have argued.

During a debate in parliament yesterday about the collapse of the negotiations around a new pensions agreement, all political parties concluded that the plan to raise the official retirement age in line with longevity from 2022 was not tenable.

Under the current arrangements, the retirement age for the Netherlands’ state pension – the AOW – is to rise from 65 in 2017 to 67 and three months in 2022. It will subsequently increase by one year for every year of additional improvement in life expectancy.

However, linking the AOW age to life expectancy angered trade unions, which argued that this would be too fast for workers in hard physical jobs. They have lobbied to freeze the AOW age at 66.


Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte, while acknowledging the overwhelming demand from political parties, contended that only a new government could alter the disputed policy.

Mark Rutte, Netherlands prime minister

Mark Rutte: Changing state pension policy would be too expensive

“It would be too expensive and would cause a large shift on the budget that could only be agreed during the formation of a new government,” he said.

Rutte suggested that, during the recent negotiations, the cabinet had offered what unions and employers had drawn up in a draft agreement that leaked to the press in May.

The draft agreement at the time indicated that the social partners had opted for collective pension arrangements, offering fewer guarantees than the current DB plans but with more scope for indexation. However, it did not mention the unions’ demands related to AOW, the discount rate for liabilities, or pensions for self-employed workers.

Academics back up union concerns

Separately from the political debate, several experts on ageing have concluded that a solution must be found for workers in physically demanding jobs, as they were likely to experience fewer years of healthy retirement than those with other kinds of jobs.

At a meeting of pensions think-tank Netspar in Rotterdam, academics presented surveys showing that the difference in life expectancy between lower and higher educated workers was increasing.

“The question is whether the current rise of the state pension age is fair in this context,” said Dorly Deeg, professor of epidemiology and ageing at VUmc in Amsterdam.

She added that an increasing number of people aged between 65 and 75 were suffering from at least two chronic illnesses.

“The uniform rise of the AOW age is at odds with the consistent difference of life expectancy and healthy longevity between the lower and higher educated,” said Wilma Nusselder, senior researcher at Rotterdam’s Erasmus Medical Centre.

Several presentations highlighted that less educated people not only faced a lower life expectancy, but also usually lacked the financial means to retire earlier. Nusselder noted that the difference between lower and higher educated workers had also been observed in other countries.

Joop de Beer, researcher at the Dutch Demographic Institute (Nidi), suggested that the AOW age should rise by one month per year in order to prevent a continuing discussion on the issue.

Politicians demand more information

Wouter Koolmees

Wouter Koolmees, social affairs minister

During the parliamentary debate, the Christian Democrats (CDA), the opposition left-wing green party GroenLinks, labour party PvdA and religious right-wing party SGP collectively filed a motion calling for the government to assess how healthy life expectancy was developing.

They also asked for alternative options for linking retirement and life expectancy, as well as how to finance them.

Prime minister Rutte said that discussions were not dead, but didn’t make clear how the process of pensions reform should be continued.

Wouter Koolmees, minister for social affairs, said the government would assess the situation and he would inform parliament of further developments in January.

Without agreement between the social partners on reform, cuts to pension payments remain possible for some schemes from 2020.

Both the party for the elderly, 50Plus, and GroenLinks announced that they would table bill to allow for a longer recovery period for pension funds, to provide the social partners additional leeway for drawing up a new reform plan.


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