back to article Retirement age must move as life expectancy grows, says WEF

The ratio of people in the workforce to those in retirement will fall from 8:1 to 4:1 by 2050 if retirement ages do not change, and the global economy will not be able to bear the burden, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has said Life expectancy has been growing globally by an average of one year every five years since the …

Silver badge

So... we should do the opposite...

... and instead give everybody a basic income?

Well the WEF so far has not been on the side of the non-billionaire. For example they critizised Germany for being one of the last countries to have no tuition fees.

38
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

Basic income is an interesting idea and one which I'm in favor of too as long as there is strict eligibility criteria based on residence.

Unfortunately it's a very hard sell as you need to convince the electorate that this is a policy that benefits everyone. My experience of discussing it with people shows the left think of it as a far right policy and the right think it's bordering on communism. Given that it's objectionable to both extremes of the political debate it is probably a good idea.

31
0
Silver badge

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

Ah happy memories, I remember the Green Party had basic income in their manifesto in 1987. They always were ahead of the pack...

7
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

We should give everyone a basic income, but also find work to do for those who have no jobs but are able. Give the fat over-breeding Stevenange chavs a basic income for sure, but make them switch off Sky, get off their lardy asses and pick litter, tend verges, remove fly tipping, spray off gum, clean trains and buses, empty bins etc... You know - actually contribute something and get healthier so doing. We should also use the tax system more aggressively to target health: so fast food, fizzy drinks and chewing gum should be taxed to buggary, like cigarettes are, NI contributions should be based on weight - as it's the fatties who bog down the NHS. It needs to become expensive and shameful to be obese.

6
32
Silver badge

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

@AC

Whilst I agree with some of what you're saying, you're heading down the path of a totalitarian state there. How far is the state able to dictate your life, including what you eat? It's a fine line. Where does personal freedom end and state enforcement begin? Should rock climbers pay extra for their medical care? What about sports? Fitness advantages for sure, but also injuries. It'll become an incredibly divisive issue depending on what personal choices you've made. The 'fatties' will say leave them alone and tackle those playing sports. The Sports people will say go after the smokers etc.etc.

However, I very much agree with the idea of people working for their benefits (effectively the same as a basic income). After all, welfare is effectively a salary from other people (taxpayers) via the government. Why should people be paid a salary, yet not contribute and work in some manner (obviously assuming they are able). Also, even if they have a disability, many can still do some form of work. In fact, you often get programmes on people who have all sorts of disabilities, but still contribute to society and in many cases, pay tax. The option of sitting around picking up your welfare should be a thing of the past.

22
5
Pint

When they came for the rockclimbers...

Just a side note: rock-climbing (like paragliding) is statistically one of the safer sports. But as in paragliding, when you cross that line from "never injured" to "injured", you tend not to do much more of the sport - or of anything.

If any sportspeople should be penalised for increased healthcare costs (not that any should be), it should be a 5-a-side football players. They drop like flies from injuries.

Beer because there's nothing like a beer after a day's climbing.

16
1
Thumb Up

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

That's the great thing with the tax system: the state can use it to guide rather than dictate. If a Big Mac is taxed so it costs £30, this isn't a ban. This isn't totalitarian. It just encourages people to eat other things, where tax breaks can be offered. Re risky people paying more NI: why not? This after all is how traditional insurance works. If you're travelling to Syria for a holiday, your travel insurance premium will be somewhat higher than for my trip to Spain.

5
11
Silver badge
Pint

Re: When they came for the rockclimbers...

> Just a side note: rock-climbing (like paragliding) is statistically one of the safer sports.

Back when I was a teenager I went on a rock climbing holiday in Cornwall and ended up getting carted off to hospital by ambulance. The injury of course was nothing to do with climbing, someone jumped on me in the Youth Hostel one evening as they thought I was having too much fun.

In the ambulance we got chatting to the crew and they commented that they almost never get called out to climbers. Tourists however, they said, were like lemmings and threw themselves off cliff all the time.

> Beer because there's nothing like a beer after a day's climbing.

And a pint for you good Sir.

7
1
Silver badge

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

Give the fat over-breeding Stevenange chavs a basic income for sure, but make them switch off Sky, get off their lardy asses and pick litter, tend verges, remove fly tipping, spray off gum, clean trains and buses, empty bins etc... You know - actually contribute something

I can understand the sentiment but I am not convinced it is necessary to force people into work. That is just perpetuating a belief that people must work to have money.

I am quite happy with the notion that you get the basic and then, if you want more, you work for it. That allows people to choose for themselves what their work-life and effort-reward balances will be. I would be perfectly happy to lose half my salary and work half as much.

If nothing else that puts half a job on the market, and we are going to have to get pretty creative in finding work if we are expecting people to work until they are 80 or older.

The real problem is that many people are forced to work hard and for long hours just to eke out a bare existence, not much better than the 'dossers on the dole' get. The answer isn't to penalise the layabouts, force them into work, we need to create a fairer system where harder work is better rewarded. Currently the choice for most of us is all-in or nothing.

24
0
Silver badge

Re: When they came for the rockclimbers...

Paragliding... as you say, when it happens, it hurts. But mostly it doesn't happen at all :)

When it happened to me, I got a nice ride in a volunteer-funded helicopter (and raised a chunk of cash for them later); when I fly abroad I make damn sure that I have insurance that includes search-and-rescue cover as well as the medical needs. But in the UK, we have a free-at-point-of-use medical service paid by me and thee, at ten or eleven percent of our gross salaries. It applies to everyone - child injured by third party, 100mph motorbike crash driver, paraglider pilot, even the failed suicide attempt victim.

There is *nowhere* I can see to apply a line to say 'you do this, therefore you don't get medical care' with the possible exception of 'if you are this overweight/smoke this much/similar, this operation is likely to leave you worse off than you are now, or dead'.

I still fly...

7
0

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

I imagine even "chavs" can spell the name of the town they come from.

11
0

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

Forcing people into work destroys the economics of UI. You've retained the costs of operating a traditional welfare system while increasing the number of recipients 10 fold. And you have to do the coercion with no sanctions or it's not UI. Succeed and you're not likely to raise more tax than it costs to operate the system. Worse, the victims of coercion won't be paying the tax bill.

At every election we're promised a welfare system where working will always be better than claiming. A promise never delivered. UI is the first believable way to achieve that, at a cost the country can afford.

17
0
Silver badge

Re: When they came for the rockclimbers...

"There is *nowhere* I can see to apply a line to say 'you do this, therefore you don't get medical care' with the possible exception of 'if you are this overweight/smoke this much/similar, this operation is likely to leave you worse off than you are now, or dead'."

I do agree. However, if someone becoming fat is a personal choice and causes load on the NHS, then you paragliding is also a personal choice that could put load on the NHS. If you're covering yourself with private cover, that's different. The point is, where's the line. What makes fat people pay more (they choose to eat moer) than people who do dangerous activities (choose to do motorsport or whatever). In both cases, your voluntarily doing something that does or could cause a load on the NHS. Nobody has to do any of them. So, where's the line and how do you define what is OK and what isn't. If someone pays for their own medical care, that's obviously OK.

5
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

> I imagine even "chavs" can spell the name of the town they come from.

Locally we call it St. Evenage which makes it sound much nicer than it is.

6
0
Silver badge

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

@word_merchant.

"If a Big Mac is taxed so it costs £30, this isn't a ban. This isn't totalitarian."

This is rather playing with words. Yes, it's not a ban per se, but it is an effective ban. Very few will go out and buy a Big Mac for that money. Yes, taxation is a steer, but at a point, it becomes an effective ban. Of course, where that point is will vary a bit from person to person.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

@Jason Bloomberg.

"I can understand the sentiment but I am not convinced it is necessary to force people into work. That is just perpetuating a belief that people must work to have money."

I think this is probably a case of great theory, but what about doing it in practice. You have to persuade a certain proportion of people to work and pay tax to be able to pay everyone else who chooses not to work. Then, you'll just get back to the current situation. Those who are working will object to beign taxed to support those who aren't putting any effort into work. Those not working will object to the better spending power (rich b*stards) who are working. Back to square one.

5
3
Silver badge

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

Not far from B/wood and L'Stree...

0
0

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

I'm yet to see a better idea than the universal income. Everyone gets the same basic wage which is enough to cover the bare essentials (basic food, water and a roof over your head). If you want more then you get a job and earn money to pay for it.

No more stigmatising people. No more 'work doesn't pay'. No more 'scroungers'. No more means testing. No more benefits fraud.

You want a big house with all the mod cons then find a permanent, full-time job. Just want a little extra, go part-time. It's all good!

9
1
Silver badge
Terminator

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

"Basic income is an interesting idea"

you mean like COMMUNISM, right?

Every time the 'minimum wage' goes up, this is what happens: a) fewer people working in "those jobs" since employers can't afford it, b) every OTHER wage+expense goes up (inflation) to compensate, c) never-ending cycle.

If the "bare minimum" subsistence income is magically declared at "some value", then everyone earning 'that level' will ENDLESSLY WHINE for MORE.

A job is an exchange of "something of value" for work, presumed to be of the same (or higher) value as the "something of value" exchanged for it. Otherwise, it's a giveaway program.

If you want to see ECONOMIC COLLAPSE, then go ahead, DIVORCE the value of work from the amount that is paid, with "subsistence income". You'll see a whole boatload of lazy people laying on their couches collecting said income, NOT working because they really don't have to, and occasionally showing up as a paid protester or wikipedia re-re-editor or blog site "contributor".

Yeah we REALLY need THAT, don't we?

And don't forget - expenses will RISE to match the money pool available to pay them. And so "subsistence" won't be enough any more, and the hands will go OUT, with empty palms UP, expecting MORE. and MORE. and MORE.

3
20

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

@Jason: It sounds like you suffer from the lump of work fallacy. There is _not_ a set amount of work in society to be done.

Humanity (in particular the Western version) have been very good at inventing new work as old employment dried up - think stone-ax makers to phone sanitizers.

The more work we do, and the more efficiently we do it, the richer we are as society*). As people have tended to get older and be fitter when older we have to basic choices: Work more/longer or be poorer (than we would otherwise have been).

*) I do know that a lot of work is not included in GDP, and a lot of retired people do worthwhile stuff, from taking care of grandchildren to growing vegetables to voluntary work.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

This is why Labour's triple lock policy on pensions is unsustainable.

3
1
Silver badge

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

"welfare is effectively a salary from other people (taxpayers) via the government. Why should people be paid a salary, yet not contribute and work in some manner"
Er... this OAP was a worker paying taxes for many years. Indeed, my earliest tax returns were entitled: "Taxation and Superannuation". My pension is being paid from my taxes, not "other people's". And it's a mere $AU85 per fortnight because assets. IOW I'm being penalised for attempting to reduce my burden on other taxpayers.

4
3
Silver badge

Re: When they came for the rockclimbers...

"got chatting to the crew and they commented that they almost never get called out to climbers."
Had a friend back in the early 1970s who was into climbing mountains; specifically the Himalayas. He said that; climbers very rarely fall off mountains. He proved it by falling off one just the once.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: When they came for the rockclimbers...

"What makes fat people pay more (they choose to eat moer) "
Not really. It's an excess of carbohydrates over fat and protein. Every farmer knows this and feeds luxury amounts of carbohydrates to animals being fattened for slaughter. If you just ate bacon and eggs with no potatoes, bread etc, you would discover that you would become a lot thinner.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: When they came for the rockclimbers...

@Mad Mike:

I do agree. However, if someone becoming fat is a personal choice and causes load on the NHS, then you paragliding is also a personal choice that could put load on the NHS.

But everything is a personal choice. I drive around twelve hours a week just commuting; I'm much more likely to have an incident driving to a flying site than I am when I get there. I've put a significantly lesser load on the NHS due to flying activities than for other issues in the same time.

And indeed I find my views on getting fat being a personal choice have modified over the years. Yes, it might be down to what you eat vs what energy you expend, but it's arguable that what you eat is very largely controlled - whether you like the idea or not - by people who want to sell you high-profit products, which get that way by being laden with nice cheap fats and sugars. And they are very very good at pushing your buttons and persuading you to purchase...

2
0
Silver badge

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

The biggest trouble with something like Basic Income is always the most overlooked:

How do you FUND such a thing?

Basically, you can't tax the beneficiaries as it's twice the work, which leaves people like employers who'd never play along. They'll cheat at best, bail out at worst.

1
1
Gold badge
Joke

"as it's the fatties who bog down the NHS."

Someone who believes in "The power of Lard"

0
0
Gold badge
Unhappy

" it should be a 5-a-side football players."

Indeed, it seems a popular pastime in companies with the staff having the chance to inflict some good natured (good for the staff that is) bodily injury on the management while the management has been know to view this as a way of correcting underperforming staff attitudes.

0
0
Gold badge
Unhappy

"'if you are this overweight/smoke..this operation is likely to leave you worse off"

Actually the NHS in the UK regularly denies orthopedic operations on grounds of weight and has made gastric bypass surgery (which is drastic and very effective) much harder to come by.

Gastric bypass (the clue is in the name) re routes your digestive tract so most of your stomach and intestines are not available to absorb food. It can both cut weight by literally a stone a month (6.34Kg). It also can reverse 40-60% of the cases of type II diabetes of the patients who are diabetic and have had this surgery. AFAIK *unlike gastric banding) it's permanent. You will learn to eat in a whole different way.

It's quite common in the rest of the EU where it's considered both effective and a lot cheaper than coping with the (very expensive) long term effects of obesity.

But in the UK obesity is still viewed like smoking used to be IE it's a lifestyle choice and you "Just lack will power."

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

I imagine even "chavs" can spell the name of the town they come from.

You've clearly never been to Stevenage.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

Very few will go out and buy a Big Mac for that money.

That was rather the idea.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

I think there is mention of 'basic income' somewhere in chapter 22 of Das Kapital...

2
0
Silver badge

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

"My pension is being paid from my taxes"

Maybe in OZ. Back in the UK state pension and many public sector pensions are essentially Ponzi schemes. It would have been a good idea if, when NI was introduced, a portion of it had been put into investments so that eventually the proceeds of this would gradually have superseded paying the pension out of current payments. Presumably this would have been regarded as putting too much power (i.e. choice of investment) in the hands of Civil Servants.

3
0

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

"Why should people be paid a salary, yet not contribute and work in some manner (obviously assuming they are able)."

They shouldn't.

But why should they not be paid a dividend for their share of the common wealth of society? We do believe in capitalism, don't we?

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

"Er... this OAP was a worker paying taxes for many years. Indeed, my earliest tax returns were entitled: "Taxation and Superannuation". My pension is being paid from my taxes, not "other people's". And it's a mere $AU85 per fortnight because assets. IOW I'm being penalised for attempting to reduce my burden on other taxpayers."

sorry no. Your pension is being paid from your children's taxes, and your taxed paid for your parents' pensions. If Aus is anything like the UK the whole state pension system was brought into being overnight and was (and is) entirely unfunded.

but yeah, totally take your point re assets. One option is to go to the casino and put your assets on red or black once or twice. If it works out you don't need the state pension. If it doesn't you get a better state pension. Simples.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: So... we should do the opposite...

"One option is to go to the casino and put your assets on red or black once or twice. If it works out you don't need the state pension. If it doesn't you get a better state pension. Simples."
I have an even better plan. Once the farm sells, we will build a really nice comfortable low maintenance home in town using up most of the assets.

0
0
Flame

This is all very well, but........

What are governments going to do about employers being very unwilling to employ anyone over fifty if they can avoid? Employment discrimination against older workers is a very widespread phenomenon. If you loose your job when you are in your fifties your chances of ever being employed again are much worse than for younger People.

35
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: This is all very well, but........

Yep, the basic problem can't be dodged, but just increasing the retirement age is way too simplistic. That sort of problem solving is typical of the think tanks.

I can't do the jobs I have done in the past, my eyesight and physical fitness stop me from driving, just for one thing. But training, finding something new? No chance. How many jobs around in 1979 even exist now?

13
1
Silver badge

Re: This is all very well, but........

"How many jobs around in 1979 even exist now?"

Hmm, there are still COBOL programmers :)

17
0
Silver badge

Re: This is all very well, but........

Just a few thoughts... In the country where I currently work the employers' contribution to their employees' pension funds increase considerably the older the employees get. In quite a few countries it is very difficult to lay off people, making it unattractive to employ both young/inexperienced and older/presumably less productive people. These are two examples of what legislation could change.

Then there is the expectation that we earn more the older we get, irrespective of productivity, which also makes it less attractive to employ older people.

3
1
Silver badge

Re: This is all very well, but........

Electrician, plumber, HVAC, potter, mechanic, gardener, grocery clerk, gas(petrol)station attendant, cook, carpet installer, roofer, chick sexer, zookeeper, cobbler, small appliance repair, taylor ... Do I really need to go on?

2
6
Silver badge

Re: This is all very well, but........

How many jobs around in 1979 even exist now?

Quite a lot actually - although punch-room girl [sic], audio typist etc have gone.

But I started in IT as a programmer in 1979 - and I'm still here. The job has evolved (no more PL/1 on mainframes for me) but the fundamental skills of analysing problems and developing solutions are unchanged, it's just the solutions tend to use different software and hardware.

8
1
Silver badge

Re: This is all very well, but........

"Electrician, plumber, HVAC, ...mechanic, gardener, ....carpet installer, roofer, "

Many of which require all the things he said he can't do...most of the others are minimum wage.

9
1
Silver badge

Re: This is all very well, but........

@Evil Auditor

"In the country where I currently work the employers' contribution to their employees' pension funds increase considerably the older the employees get."

Yes, this is often the case. Of course, it's a silly policy really. The pension contributions that have the greatest effect are the earliest. This is because they have the most time to be invested and get returns etc. The last ones are pretty much worth their value and nothing more. So, it actually makes sense to make pension contributions greatest for the young and least for the old............

9
1
Bronze badge

Re: This is all very well, but........

Audio typist hasn't gone, it's just more specialist now with transcribing police interviews, etc.

As to jobs you can still do at age 60+..

Body potentially too knackered to do : Electrician, plumber, HVAC, mechanic, gardener, carpet installer, roofer, cook (certainly for a restaurant, hours are obscene), zookeeper

Minimum wage, oh so appealing : grocery clerk, gas(petrol)station attendant

If you haven't started already, do you really think it's likely now is the time : tailor

None existent openings : chick sexer

No one actually uses : small appliance repair

What's left : cobbler, maybe.

Three minimum wage jobs, woo!

14
0
Silver badge

Re: This is all very well, but........

@BinkyThe MagicPaperclip

Interesting how you talk about minimum wage jobs. There's a phrase.....needs must. People need to realise this, rather than turning their noses up at some jobs. How do you think people working those jobs now would feel about your considering them somehow lesser?

6
6
Bronze badge

Re: This is all very well, but........

I've done minimum wage jobs of various types, and am very grateful I'm not doing one now.

I'd expect that most people doing minimum wage jobs would prefer it not to be minimum wage, even if it fits well into their life. I don't look down on people on minimum wage jobs, but I'd rather not do one.

It can work for some people at or close to retirement, if it's a low stress part time job, to bring in a few extra pennies. However, if you've worked in an above minimum wage but not exactly well remunerated job until age 60+, and now your only option to keep your income at an acceptable level is working close to full time at a lower rate, I'd expect people to be severely annoyed.

16
0
Silver badge

Re: This is all very well, but........

I'm sure everyone would rather not do minimum wage jobs. But, this is the point. Whilst people would rather not, needs must. Someone must do those jobs and if people need extra income later in life, why not? If you can do the job, why should you be 'severely annoyed' if you haven't saved enough whilst in the non-minimum wage job.

People can make their own choices, but when they decide to spend money and not save for retirement should stop complaining about what they have to do later in life. Problem today is people want it all. To spend all their money now on living life, whilst still expecting others to fund their later life/retirement. Either live life a little less and save more, or accept some compromises later in life.

3
8
B83
Pint

Re: This is all very well, but........

@Mad Mike

Cant agree more you.

Too many people are too far up their rear orifices and think its demeaning to do some cleaning or flip a burger.

The best eye opener people can get is working behind a bar and serving the drunks, cleaning up after the drunks (the puke), on one occasion a female co-worker had to go into the female toilets and help pull up the panties of an inebriated(p1ssed/drunk/steaming) elderly lady while she was sat on the toilet.

You soon appreciate people working on minimum wage.

6
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: This is all very well, but........

I have 20 years IT exp in many areas. I am now virtually a developer , and im virtually on Minimum wage

lemme work it out ... 10.25 ph b4 tax

2
1

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017