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 …

  1. Christian Berger 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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. bombastic bob 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.

        1. Charles 9 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.

    2. Pen-y-gors 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...

      1. herman Silver badge

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

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

    3. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Mad Mike

        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.

        1. sebt
          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.

          1. Dazed and Confused 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.

            1. Pompous Git 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. Neil Barnes 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...

            1. Mad Mike

              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.

              1. Pompous Git 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.

              2. Neil Barnes 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. John Smith 19 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."

          3. John Smith 19 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.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          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.

          1. Mad Mike

            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.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              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.

        3. Pompous Git 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.

          1. Doctor Syntax 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.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            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.

            1. Pompous Git 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.

        4. Bill Michaelson

          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?

      2. Jason Bloomberg 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.

        1. Paul Shirley

          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.

        2. Mad Mike

          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.

        3. Stork Bronze badge

          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.

      3. Nuff Said

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

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

        1. Anonymous Coward
          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.

          1. Tom Paine Silver badge

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

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

        2. Anonymous Coward
          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.

      4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Joke

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

        Someone who believes in "The power of Lard"

    4. GingerOne

      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!

    5. TheVogon Silver badge

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

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

  2. Arctic fox
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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?

      1. Christian Berger Silver badge

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

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

        Hmm, there are still COBOL programmers :)

        1. jake 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?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            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.

          2. martinusher Silver badge

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

            I'm 68 and in reasonable health, actually better than most similar aged people I know. Based on this straw poll of geezers I think we can start to strike off the list of jobs....

            Electrician, plumber, HVAC, mechanic, gardener, coo, carpet installer, roofer, zookeeper.

            You physically can't do manual labor, at least not efficiently and safely. There are a few jobs you can do into your dotage. You can program (assuming you're mentally sharp and have kept your skills up to date -- a big 'if'). You can become a politician or pundit. You can write papers for the WEF telling others to work longer, harder or both. The actual list of things you can do -- and more importantly, things that employers are willing to pay you a half decent salary to do, is surprisingly short.

            What's the takeaway from this? First, do not neglect retirement savings. You'll need them -- retirement is nearer than it looks. Second, the only viable long term solution is the original Soylent Green. Third, we could tell outfits like the WEF to go f**k themselves; their economic model is based on a rentier economy where everyone's got to run full tilt just to stay in place (keeping a whole lot of parasites in the process -- never mind the old folk, they're pretty cheap, the true parasites are easy enough to identify. Putting them to work -- real work -- might be illuminating for them.)

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

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

              "the true parasites are easy enough to identify. Putting them to work -- real work -- might be illuminating for them.)"
              Might be a tad difficult also. Work being an alien concept for them...

      2. Pen-y-gors 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.

        1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver 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!

          1. Mad Mike

            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?

            1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver 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.

              1. Mad Mike

                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.

                1. Commswonk Silver badge

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

                  @ Mad Mike:

                  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.

                  While I have some sympathy for the views expressed, people working in minimum / living / low wage jobs are supposed to save for retirement how exactly?

                  1. Mad Mike

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

                    @Commswonk

                    "While I have some sympathy for the views expressed, people working in minimum / living / low wage jobs are supposed to save for retirement how exactly?"

                    It's all about choices. How many times are people interviewed and state quite casually they can't afford to pay into a pension, but are either drinking down the pub or smoking like a chimney? Not saying there aren't some who fit into your description, there are, but there's an awful lot more who choose to spend the money in other ways. I live in an expensive part of the country and my son can live on a near minimum wage job. Why? Because he chooses what he spends his money on. Citing addiction all the time is also a cop out. People choose to start smoking and must live with that decision rather than seeking sympathy afterwards. It's not like people didn't know about addiction etc.

                    Also, look at the statistics of which sectors of society spend the most on gambling (as in betting shops etc.). How can they possibly afford it?

                  2. Novex

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

                    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.

                    -----

                    While I have some sympathy for the views expressed, people working in minimum / living / low wage jobs are supposed to save for retirement how exactly?

                    -----

                    This is what I was thinking - if wages are staying down, and for quite a lot of people that's far below the median*, then how are they (we) supposed to save for anything, let alone a pension? Minimum wage, even the Living Wage Foundation's living wage, isn't enough to be paying for pensions out of it while there's massive rent or mortgage to pay (that's if you can even find a place to rent these days).

                    *The median, which, by the way, at around £26K hasn't changed much in 15+ years, or so it seems, while top level wages have gone stratospheric, meaning there are far more low paid jobs in this economy than there were 15 years ago.

                  3. Pompous Git Silver badge

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

                    "While I have some sympathy for the views expressed, people working in minimum / living / low wage jobs are supposed to save for retirement how exactly?"
                    Easy peasy! Just have a "job" on the side: drug-dealing, prostitution, burglary... There's an engineer in Tasmania who's also a sex worker and I also recall an art teacher in the 1970s.

                2. Pompous Git Silver badge

                  Re: This is all very well, 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."
                  Well that's a crock of shit if ever I heard any. Mrs Git and I went without to purchase two investment properties so we would be less of a burden on the taxation system. So now we get sweet FA on the OAP. If we sell the properties, we have to spend all the capital before we get any pension at all. The income from the properties is barely enough to pay down the loans.

                  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

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

                    "If we sell the properties, we have to spend all the capital before we get any pension at all. The income from the properties is barely enough to pay down the loans."

                    Sell em, blow the lot (if there's anything left after paying off the loans), draw the pension.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                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

                1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

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

                  My hourly rate is above minimum wage, but my TOTAL wage has been substantially below the Personal Allowance ever since the LibToryDems raised it.

            2. 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.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

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

              Needs must, yes, but a single word throws a spanner in the works: insufficient. That's why many people snub minimum wage work: not because it's minimum wage, but because it's not breadwinning. If it's not breadwinning, it's not going to be enough to pay the bills, which means why bother? You either die slower or be forced to do the work of two to make ends meet, meaning you both burn out faster (all work and no play...) and steal a job from someone else desperate to work.

              1. Mad Mike

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

                @AC

                "insufficient"

                Well, that depends doesn't it. How many hours a week should someone work? Again, there's an expectation here. After WWII, what were the average hours worked by people? Way beyond what people work today. Again, something has changed without corresponding changes to other areas. My son regularly works 60 hours a week at close to minimum wage and accepts it because it's what needs to be done. He's proud, wants to work and doesn't see why others should support him, so 60 hours a week is 'necessary'. I'd love him to work less, but the reality is he can't. Now, a retired person might not be able to work these hours, but theirs should be a top-up and not all they have to live on, so different circumstances.

                It really amazes me how entitled some people feel to use other peoples money to live on. Some redistribution is required of course, but you see people interviewed all the time who simply say it isn't enough, so I'll stay on benefits (other peoples tax money).

                1. annodomini2

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

                  @Mad Mike,

                  While Minimum wage is a good thing in that it prevents people being underpaid for their work, at the same time I have a couple of issues with it:

                  1. If a job is paid at Minimum Wage all the boss of that job is saying is, I would pay you less, but I'm not legally allowed.

                  2. If an individual on Minimum Wage needs to work 60+hrs/week just to make ends meet, when the majority full time work IRO ~40hrs/week, then either Minimum Wage is too low or the system is attempting to work against Minimum Wage.

                  The second one is what I think we are seeing, the market forces are acting to minimise the impact of any raises.

                  As you stated previously, who determines what is an acceptable no. of hrs/week? There is no right or wrong answer, only what as a group we assess as fair.

                  I have no issue with those that wish to work longer hours, that is their choice, however I take issue when it is forced upon an individual, politically, financially or otherwise.

              2. ecofeco Silver badge

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

                Needs must, yes, but a single word throws a spanner in the works: insufficient.

                Exactly AC. Nobody in their right mind is going to work hard to be poor.

                "Eat cake" indeed. How'd that work out?

            4. ecofeco Silver badge

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

              There's another phrase: min wage don't pay the fucking bills.

        2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

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

          "The job has evolved (no more PL/1 on mainframes for me) but the fundamental skills of analysing problems and developing solutions are unchanged"

          Tell that to the recruitment robots. "Oh, you last worked with wibbleflip 3.0.44. Sorry, we're looking for somebody who has worked with wibbleflip 3.0.45. Fuck off."

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

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

            "Tell that to the recruitment robots."

            They really should be on less than the minimum wage.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

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

          "punch-room girl"

          "Girl" might have been a bit of an over-optimistic description in some cases.

    2. Evil Auditor 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.

      1. Mad Mike

        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............

        1. Nolveys Silver badge
          Mushroom

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

          @ Mad Mike

          The pension contributions that have the greatest effect are the earliest.

          ...and then came the sub-prime mortgage collapse.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

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

        "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."

        I'm not sure that applies in all cases. Skills tend to depend on experience but for many traces that will top out after a few years. Where experience brings responsibility then you will find an increase. It might be difficult to measure the justification in terms of productivity because the nature of the product changes.

    3. Stork Bronze badge

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

      I think one of the problems is that as we age, the options we have are extremely different depending of what we do.

      Lawyers, engineers etc., in good health can go on and on - until recently there were a couple of business owners in Denmark who were very active (and allegedly very sharp) way into their 90es.

      I met a carpenter aged 66 who had reduced to 4-5 hour/day; his knees could not cope with floors and roofs so he did all the little jobs the larger companies didn't care about. But he got offended by the thought of retiring, he _liked_ his work. Lucky man.

      Unfortunately not everyone have that option - a lot of people in manual jobs are worn out when they hit their 60es.

  3. wolfetone Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Fair Enough

    Can't wait for the group of 70+ year old fire fighters to come and rescue me when I'm trapped in a burning building.

    It's all about the profit at the end of the day. It's easy for those who know they're going to be well off in the future to say the less well off need to work longer.

    1. Field Commander A9

      Re: Fair Enough

      The I guess it's a good thing that firefighters in my country are pulled from army reserve and serve only 2 years before they're replaced with fresh meat.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Fair Enough

        "The I guess it's a good thing that firefighters in my country are pulled from army reserve and serve only 2 years before they're replaced with fresh meat."

        In the UK the firefighters retire at around 50, which makes sense as it's a physically demanding job and even after retirement a firefighters life expectancy is quite low. But they're wanting to change that, make them work beyond 50 to get their pension.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Fair Enough

          nice that they get to retire with a pension at 50 (plenty of very fit people aged 50) How about builders working on site at 50+ they don't have the option that fire fighters do, or the nice pension

          1. Merchman

            Re: Fair Enough

            Is your argument that firefighters should retire later, or builders should be able to retire earlier? One of these is stupid.

          2. Triggerfish

            Re: Fair Enough

            They don't run into burning buildings an pull people out of them either, maybe the firefighters earn it?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Fair Enough

              Firefighters often don't have to go into incomplete buildings, working on incomplete structures where one needs to step carefully to avoid falling, with potentially loose and heavy stuff over one's head. Plus they work in these conditions for longer periods, raising the risks.

              To each one's own hazards.

              1. Triggerfish

                Re: Fair Enough

                Firefighters often don't have to go into incomplete buildings, working on incomplete structures where one needs to step carefully to avoid falling, with potentially loose and heavy stuff over one's head.

                Actually I'd say they do, plus have other fun things to deal with like car crashes.

                But you make a fair enough point, and having worked on sites it's back breaking as well. Although I'd still say a building on fire is more hazardous. However if you start making it unattractive to be a firefighter telling them they are still going to do this when they are 65. How many firefighters are you going to get?

                1. Sherrie Ludwig

                  Re: Fair Enough

                  Firefighters often don't have to go into incomplete buildings, working on incomplete structures where one needs to step carefully to avoid falling, with potentially loose and heavy stuff over one's head

                  Firefighters do, however, run into buildings where unknown materials are burning/outgassing that in their own right or in combination with other substances are likely to be harmful. Yes, there are modern breathing apparatuses, but they have limited air supplies, are cumbersome, reduce mobility and vision, and do not protect against the toxic substances getting into exposed skin. I worked with many firefighters, and emphysema or other breathing problems, as well as lung and blood cancers are very common as they age. Look at the 9/11 responders for confirmation on toxicity exposures.

              2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Fair Enough

                "Firefighters often don't have to go into incomplete buildings, working on incomplete structures where one needs to step carefully to avoid falling, with potentially loose and heavy stuff over one's head."

                Are you sure about that?

            2. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: Fair Enough

              "They don't run into burning buildings an pull people out of them either, maybe the firefighters earn it?"
              A building site's a very hazardous environment. Nearly as hazardous as a farm even. Maybe people who work on building sites and farms deserve a little consideration, too.

          3. Orv Silver badge

            Re: Fair Enough

            Career firefighters actually have a considerably reduced lifespan, so I don't think the comparison is quite apt. They die disproportionately frequently of lung cancer and stomach cancer.

            I'm not sure what the lifespan effect of being a builder is. The only one I knew was my uncle, and he died of being buried by an avalanche while snowmobiling, which isn't really a risk specific to the construction trades.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: Fair Enough

              @ Orv

              Clergy/Religious professionals: 59.8

              Accountants: 61.6

              Teaching, education: 62.5

              Medical doctors: 63.2

              Machine operators, auxiliary technical occupations: 74.8

              Architects, engineers: 75.7

              Construction and building construction labourers: 148.3

              Occupations in forestry: 148.6

              Comparative mortality rates, by profession, in Switzerland (average = 100)

              Firefighters not listed... I can remember when the Westgate Bridge fell down killing 35 construction workers. Here in Oz we have a lot of fires, but relatively few firemen die (usually in a bushfire) compared to construction-work where it's pretty much a weekly affair.

  4. M7S

    Re-skilling older workers

    Every scheme I have seen for publicly funded "free IT courses" and the like, some of which might actually be useful either to the employer or the worker concerned seems to specify that the recipient has to be under 25 or something similar. Perhaps changing this might help older people remain employable.

    Yes I know employers should pay for training, but it doesn't always happen. If free training is available, why not give it to someone still with 15-20 years working life expectancy rather than 40, or does this explain why half the NHS is still on XP?

    1. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Re: Re-skilling older workers

      Well those "free IT courses" are usually about how to use the current version of Product X. What you learn there usually will be completely useless within months.

      1. Commswonk Silver badge

        Re: Re-skilling older workers

        @ Christian Berger

        Well those "free IT courses" are usually about how to use the current version of Product X. What you learn there usually will be completely useless within months.

        Such courses (and it isn't limited to IT) serve the financial needs of the Training Providers more than the recipients of the training.

    2. Korev Silver badge

      Re: Re-skilling older workers

      Before I left the UK I tried to improve my maths as was doing increasing amounts of bioinformatics etc. I tried to find somewhere in Surrey and Sussex offered A-Level maths in the evening; the only maths courses were for basic numeracy, there weren't even GCSEs on offer.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    scrapping mandatory retirement would help

    Where I live, I will have to retire at 67 whether I like it or not, even if I am still perfectly capable of doing my job, and are still doing it well. I agree that everyone must have an option of retiring with a decent pension income once they are old enough and are not willing to continue - but pushing out those of us who still can and want to punt seems stupid.

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: scrapping mandatory retirement would help

      pushing out those of us who still can and want to punt seems stupid.

      Unless there are jobs being created you would be 'bed blocking' in the workplace; stopping people moving up the ladder and preventing new people coming in.

      We do however need more flexibility. Those who want to work should be able to, while others should be given a route to wind down or retire early and not be excessively penalised for that.

      Unfortunately no one has asked the people what they want, what they would like, have simply decided how it will be, take it or leave it.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: scrapping mandatory retirement would help

        There's a bigger problem. 9 times out of 10, there are more potential workers than jobs to fill, which means someone will get shafted, sometimes through no fault of their own. Meanwhile they still have to earn their keep, and with demands for efficiency, the need for human labor is shrinking, not growing. It's a pretty hard problem overall, and no one wants to be the to tell people, "You lose. Game Over. Better luck next life," since things risk turning ugly.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: scrapping mandatory retirement would help

          "Unless there are jobs being created you would be 'bed blocking' in the workplace; stopping people moving up the ladder and preventing new people coming in."

          On the one hand we're worried about there not being enough youngsters in jobs to finance support for the oldsters and on the other about the oldsters stopping the youngsters getting jobs. There's a contradiction here.

          Then we have concerns about automation taking all the jobs but if it did that why are we worried about the oldsters needing to work to keep the economy going?

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: scrapping mandatory retirement would help

      You live in Japan and I claim my £5.

      :)

  6. jake Silver badge

    Earth to the WEF ...

    ... The retirement age IS moving upwards, and accelerating, for the simple reason that folks can't afford to retire at all anymore! I know any number of folks in their eighties who need to work at least 30hrs/week just to keep a roof overhead.

    1. Field Commander A9

      Re: Earth to the WEF ...

      That's the price you pay for not actually buying your house when you can afford it rather than spending those bills on booze.

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Earth to the WEF ...

        "Buying a house" ha, what a quaint twentieth century idea!

        Maybe if the average house price round here wasn't ten times the average wage, it wouldn't be so laughable.

        1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Earth to the WEF ...

          Where I live, it's 20x

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Earth to the WEF ...

        That's the price you pay for not actually buying your house when you can afford it rather than spending those bills on booze.

        Booze? luxury!

        After all my essential bills go out each month I'm lucky if I have £200/m to feed myself and my kids when they come over for the weekend. No I don't have a SKY+HDBBQWTF subscription, don't drive, don't go on holiday, don't buy clothes until the current set are threadbare and have a mobile phone to keep in contact with family. I just got made redundant and even with nearly 20 years of payoff it's still not enough for a deposit on a house near me.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Earth to the WEF ...

          "That's the price you pay for not actually buying your house when you can afford it"

          yeah , next time its 1997 im gonna get that 40k house i like.

          1. Swarthy Silver badge

            Re: Earth to the WEF ...

            "That's the price you pay for not actually buying your house when you can afford it"
            Assuming:

            1) That you ever could afford to buy a house. I could, and did, but some never can; even without spending on booze and avocados.

            2) That the money you need to "keep a roof" is rent/mortgage. Even if the house was bought and paid off, you may still need a significant chunk o' change for: maintenance, property tax, repairs (weather/catastrophe/vandalism/accidental damages), and/or insurance.

            1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

              Re: Earth to the WEF ...

              Yeabbut, based on my personal figures, property tax, maintaince, repairs, utilities, etc. is about 25% of (all_that + mortgage). Getting rid of the mortgage gets rid of 75% of roof_over_head-related expenses.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: Earth to the WEF ...

                Not really. Property taxes are covered by the mortgage since it's still the bank that owns the house, not you. Once you're free and clear, the burden falls to you.

                1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                  Re: Earth to the WEF ...

                  "Property taxes are covered by the mortgage since it's still the bank that owns the house, not you."

                  Where you live, maybe.

                  Certainly not in the UK. Property taxes are local taxation and part of the funding for local services such as emptying the bins on reduced cycles, closing the libraries and building big shiny sports centres and paying for the Tour de France so that the council leaders can get there photos in the local paper.

                2. Sherrie Ludwig

                  Re: Earth to the WEF ...

                  Not really. Property taxes are covered by the mortgage since it's still the bank that owns the house, not you. Once you're free and clear, the burden falls to you.

                  Not in the US! They are ADDED TO the mortgage, unless you have a whopping lot of equity and request that you pay them separately.

        2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: Earth to the WEF ...

          Hold on, if you've got 20 years of redundancy, you have been working at least 20 years, so you should have bought a place back 20 years ago when prices were still sane, not leaving it until now.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Earth to the WEF ...

        "That's the price you pay for not actually buying your house when you can afford it rather than spending those bills on booze."

        USA here: we own our house clear, also some income property. EVEN ON MEDICARE (the USA old folks' supposed single payer healthcare) supplemental insurance premiums and co-pays for cancer treatment (in remission, and hope to stay that way) require more than a 40 hour a week minimum wage would pay. That does not factor in little incidentals like food, utilities, transportation.

    2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Earth to the WEF ...

      I was hoping to retire at 63, but pushed that back to 68, and now the government is suggesting I stay in harness until I'm 70. My house is paid off, I am pretty much sorted with pension, but I have an unexpected shortfall, with my partner not being able to work, due to illness. When I retire I will be no burden to anyone, but I can't seem to get there! I also find employers are very happy to have a 'seasoned professional' on the team, as everyone else is under 30.*

      * I really do not need to hear 'who was Stevie Wonder'

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bugger *that*

    I'm going to retire at 55 on a (not very good) occupational pension. After having friends, family, and ex workers die in their early sixties or earlier I'm not going to work until 68.

    I'd rather have little money and top it up with other sources of income than carry on full time work.

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: Bugger *that*

      I know a former headmaster who found out that the average age of death for headteachers in his bit of the UK was 66. Retiring as soon as possible became a top priority.

      1. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge

        Re: Bugger *that*

        I feel much the same way, and plan to switch to shorter working hours at some point, but to carry on working as long as I feel able. I rather think that in many cases, work becomes a person's life, and without work they simply have not got very much to give their life structure. So, carry on working for as long as you can, but simply reduce the hours and pressure as much as possible.

        1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

          Re: Bugger *that*

          I rather think that in many cases, work becomes a person's life, and without work they simply have not got very much to give their life structure.

          I agree and I find that extremely sad. Assuming they have enough for a comfortable life, given the freedom to do anything they could choose to do, that they can't find anything to keep themselves fulfilled, have become institutionalised wage slaves.

          I can't wait to get out but I know plenty who are dreading it, don't see what the point of life will be after retirement. I feel we've really let them down.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bugger *that*

        I'll never forget a study about GP longevity a number of years back. Retire at age 60 - average age of death, think it was 70+.

        Golden handshakes were going around at that time. Retire at age 65, average age of death : 66.

        No point in money if you're not around to spend it.

        1. Tachikoma

          Re: Bugger *that*

          No point in money if you're not around to spend it.

          I dunno, I come from a relatively poor family and worked up to a decent wage, I want to leave my kids as much as I can so they have an easier life.

          If my kids are loaded though, I'm retiring early and moving into their spare room, they can wipe my shitty arse for a change!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Bugger *that*

            "switch to shorter working hours at some point"

            I'd do that now given the choice , but im not getting what im worth as it is. If i was i'd work 1/3rd less hours

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bugger *that*

      With you there. Self employment forced me to buy private pensions and I see no reason not to start collecting them early. Recent changes mean I now will get a state pension for paying NIC for so many decades but that will just be a bonus a dozen years or more after I retire.

      Our parents all retired by 55 and they're heading for record ages for both families, instead of dying in their 60's. Our siblings are all planning to go early on their company pensions. They can try forcing us back to work but they can't starve us into it.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Taxing Corporations and the Wealthy like they were in the 1970s would go along toward solving a lot of debt issues, but they were able to buy most of the World's Governments.

    Globalization is another tool in keeping pay scales held down in developed countries. It could be otherwise but that would be less profitable.

    1. Paul Shirley

      That worked so well in the 70's, taxing people that left the country and reach of HMRC.

      I look forward to post-brexit tax haven England, the only one that charges higher corporate tax.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      It's worse than we thought.

      https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2016/apr/08/global-inequality-may-be-much-worse-than-we-think

  9. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Portfolio careers?

    I remember someone referring to the idea of 'portfolio' careers. In the 'good old days' before the EU and antibiotics, most people stuck to the same job all their lives (well, a seven year apprenticeship tended to discourage re-training). They also then died at a sensible age.

    Now it's different - the world and society now changes very fast. Many people will have working lives of 60+ years, and we need to handle that by letting people have several careers during those years. As individuals we need to look to ways to feed ourselves for longer, but when we're 80 do we need to keep buying expensive consumer durables? To be honest, we can all live with rather less in the way of shiney-shiney. Many people already have several jobs (just to make ends meet) but there's nothing fundamentally wrong with older people having two or three easier lower-paid part-time jobs, just so long as they are able to do them and happy and earn enough for a reasonable standard of living. A lot of this comes down to changing peoples' expectations.

    1. Arctic fox
      Headmaster

      @ Pen-y-gors Re:".....by letting people have several careers during those years...."

      Indeed Pen-y-gors but this comes back to my original point. How will people have such careers if employers are not interested in anyone past a certain age? The only way we can tackle this (and it is a crucial issue for society) is to outlaw age discrimination explicitly. We cannot cope with these challenges if employers continue with their foul attitudes towards older workers. That they are shooting themselves and society in the foot at one and the same time is something that they appear to be blissfully ignorant of. We cannot continue in this way if we are going to tackle these issues. The ever increasing numbers of older workers who could work, if given the chance, who society cannot in the long term support on pensions at the age concerned present an economic challenge that we have to tackle. The reality is that we have to take the employers warmly by the throat and make it clear that they do not have a choice. Otherwise the options are terrifying for both society itself and anyone over a "certain age".

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: @ Pen-y-gors .....by letting people have several careers during those years...."

        "The reality is that we have to take the employers warmly by the throat and make it clear that they do not have a choice."

        One part of this may well be a demographic change. With smaller family sizes employers are going to find there are fewer young recruits and will have to look at recruiting and/or retaining older staff.

        Another will be that as the average age of the population increases so will the age of those making such decisions; things will look different from an older viewpoint. Experience will come to be something to be valued.

        It would help if management skills were increased. Less experienced workers may be impressed by managements "motivational" attempts. After a few times round the block it becomes seen as an insult to the intelligence, the victims react accordingly and management wants to replace them with someone who'll be seen as a better team player or whatever when in fact it's they, the management, who need to learn to do better.

    2. Jim Oase

      Re: Portfolio careers?

      What is meant by phrases such as; "letting people have several careers"; " but when we're 80 do we need to keep buying expensive consumer durables?"; "To be honest, we can all live with rather less in the way of shiney-shiney".

      One day a long time ago we dissolved all political ties with another. Then we mutually agreed "that all men are created equal" and that we need to institute a government to defend our unalienable rights and that government will get its "just powers from the consent of the governed".

      Today you are saying someone has the power to let me or you work and let me or you buy something and let me or you live the way we choose. Did we amend our founding document "The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America"? When did that happen?

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Portfolio careers?

      "Many people will have working lives of 60+ years, and we need to handle that by letting people have several careers during those years."

      I'm not sure about 60+ but in the course of 40+ I changed career midway through. I doubt I could have stood the first one much longer than I did. I'm also not sure how much longer I'd have been able to stand the second one. In my case stuff I learned in a peripheral way helped start the second career but I don't see how I could have moved on to a third anything like as easily.

      "Letting" people have several careers would actually involve being prepared, as a society, to retrain them. In practical terms we've somehow got ourselves into a situation where we're not even financing training for a first career.

  10. mr_souter_Working
    Unhappy

    Pension age vs retirement age

    Currently, I will be eligible for state pension at age 67 (only 20 more years).

    I should be able to start properly saving for retirement at about age 65. (that should be when most debts/mortgage/etc are cleared)

    I will probably need to work until I am in my mid to late 70's (maybe even early 80's) to be able to afford to retire with any degree of comfort.

    Just as well that most of my family tend to live well into their 80's/90's before finally dropping dead - hopefully I will have a couple of years to enjoy retirement.

    Of course this could all become moot if one of the nutters currently in charge of a country with Nuclear weapons decides they really want to play with their shiny toys.........................

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    10 trillion pounds owed to state pensioners, civil service pensioners, current or future just for PAST payments.

    There are no assets.

    The WEF needs to be honest. It's not people living older, that's just blaming the victims.

    It's the socialist welfare state that spent the money and didn't invest it. It's a ponzi, and ponzi's collapse.

    The WEF are just blaming the victims for the scam committed by governments.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      And your solution is?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "And your solution is?"

        Dunno, but properly defining the problem is a prerequisite to solving it.

    2. Mad Mike

      Wow

      @AC.

      This is one of the first times I've seen the reality brought up by someone else. The whole NI scheme was largely a Ponzi. Pay today and we'll give you something tomorrow. Some was spent immediately on things related to NI like the NHS, but the vast majority was spent on other things. The idea that tomorrows workers will pay pensions for todays workers is almost perfectly the definition of Ponzi. As average lifespans extend, it was always going to get into problems. When instigated, the average person might have 5 years in retirement (may died before retirement), but now you can look forward to something like 20 years (at least) in retirement. This was obvious as soon as life expectencies started going up. But, the politicians buried their heads in the sand and ignored it. So, left retirement ages the same for decades. In reality, if the retirement age was increased gradually from say 1970 onwards, this wouldn't have been a problem.

      The above would also have solved the issue of expectation. People now expect 20 years of retirement, but it simply isn't financially practical. But, having got this expectation are not willing to give it up. Of course, some politicians are more than willing to pretend the issue doesn't exist and pander to these peoples desires, which will work in the short term, but will just make the problem worse in the medium term. People need to wake up, understand the issue and realise that no matter how much they might want and expect something, it doesn't mean they can actually have it.

      Alternatively, save an awful lot more into your pension than the current average.

      1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: Wow

        "The whole NI scheme was largely a Ponzi"

        Yup, there's no 'Insurance' element to it at all.

        I recently checked my estimated state pension,... it's maxxed out, I can't get any more out of it, despite how much more I pay in. That sucks, as I have another 19 years of work ahead of me, potentially.

        My pension from a previous job is increasing in value nicely however, and I'm no longer paying into it. I feel sorry for anyone who will be solely reliant on a state pension.

      2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Wow

        That's the state pension scheme problem - there isn't one in any financial terms as it's as described - a "hope we can pay for it later" investment scheme. On the other hand, company pension schemes where companies are able to raid these assets and use the funds for their own purposes, often short term bailouts to ensure that dividends and bonuses are paid, not to invest them responsibly are a growing problem. The protections on these non-state pension schemes have been gradually eroded by politicians who have more a passing interest in the organisations who wanted to "unlock the value" (i.e. take the money from) the pension schemes.

        1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: Wow

          I don't know when it happend or who is to blame, but "they" should never have allowed a company's pension scheme to be predicated on the continuing existance of the company by being invested in the company itself. All and any pension scheme must be invested in a spread of unrelated investments.

      3. Commswonk Silver badge

        Re: Wow

        @ Mad Mike

        Alternatively, save an awful lot more into your pension than the current average.

        Even that might not help much. I suppose I am lucky; the bulk of my retirement income comes from a Defined Benefit (contributory) pension, but that was closed some years ago with new "entrants" being on Defined Contribution.

        One factor in the demise of D/B schemes that is rarely mentioned is Gordon Bown's tax raid on the dividend income that pension schemes receive on behalf of their one - time contributors, now beneficiaries. It's little wonder that D/B schemes struggled to remain afloat with those that haven't been closed developing greater and greater black holes in their accounts. As governments can become as hooked on other peoples' money as anyone else there has been no move that I am aware of to ditch what to me has always been an unfair penalty on retirees.

        D/C schemes do not really allow much by way of financial planning; how can a soon - to - be - a - retiree plan ahead when there can be no clear picture of what the retirement income is going to be?

        Politicians (it isn't just governments) bleat about people not planning sufficiently for their retirement and then make it as bloody difficult as they can to make any such planning even halfway effective.

        1. Mad Mike

          Re: Wow

          @Commswonk

          Very true. Gordon Browns raid hit pensions of all types, but especially those with higher liabilities such as defined benefit. Short term moneymaking causing massive black holes in the future.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Wow

          "One factor in the demise of D/B schemes that is rarely mentioned is Gordon Bown's tax raid on the dividend income"

          True. It was a tax on the future and that future is now.

          I felt at the time - and still do - that pension schemes should have started issuing double projections: this is what your pension plan is actually likely to bring you and this is what it would have been likely to bring you without the tax. The consequences would have become widely understood very quickly and he'd have been forced to think again.

    3. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge

      One solution is fairly obvious: do not elect politicians who promise to borrow yet more money to provide bribes now, since all they are doing is hastening the collapse of the Ponzi scheme.

      1. Mad Mike

        @Dr Dan.

        Absolutely. All this borrowing for today, pay back tomorrow (more likely never) just makes it worse. PFI......bad etc.etc. Even some seasoned politicians don't seem to understand how government borrowing works and that even if interest rates are low now, it doesn't mean they always will be and of course, the more you borrow, the higher the risk, hence the higher the rate.....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          so how is it

          that borrowing to "bribe" people who will be receiving individual benefits for *greater* than 20 years who contributed nothing net, is not a problem?

          Because if it's "bribing" the workers who actually send out and supply those benefits in the first place, who provide an actual societal contribution as first responders or support personnel by multiplying their retirement contribution, then what do you call it when you're giving that to people who receive the same or greater "bribe" but don't even contribute anything in to multiply?

          One does something, gets 20 years maybe of fixed income safety net. The other, "contributes" by providing surplus population, or obeying the laws and not victimizing others to "get by", gets cost of living increases, and does so from the day they're "emancipated" and has NO LIMIT to most benefits (housing, food, health insurance, and most cash aid programs have no "clock" or end date, and those with the '5 year limit' can often be reset simply by dropping that one program and waiting awhile or moving to another county).

          which is the "bribe" again? or are we using "bribe" to differentiate between that and "protection" money?

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        @ Dr Dan Holdsworth

        Hastening the collapse of the Ponzi scheme might actually be what's needed in the long run. That or the next, overdue, 'flu pandemic. Neither will be much fun.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      what's really interesting:

      to get yearly Cost of Living adjustments, and paid benefits for the rest of one's life, no matter how long-as well as health insurance benefits, available from age 18 without ever having to invest any time in employment at all, is supposedly NOT the problem.

      But working and providing services, often funded with a portion of your wages, for a minimum of 25 years, with no cost of living adjustments (hence "fixed income") and a limited pool that can run out if one isn't careful or lives "too long", somehow IS the problem.

      Apparently the REAL problem is keeping the "privileged" working longer to support the "underprivileged" at identical or even *greater* lifestyle levels.

      Hell, I *already* share my apartment building with identical "quality of living" with a number of perpetual "clients", and have seen my share of those move to actually renting nice houses with lawns and garages that I simply cannot afford on my actual 50 hour workweek. It doesn't help that rents are stabilized by Section 8 rather than what most can afford to pay- people can't afford to rent your home, Section 8 is happy to swoop in and pay "market rate" because their "client" list is backed up for *years*.

      Working is a Sucker's Game nowadays. And this Foundation wants the suckers to work longer.

    5. Stork Bronze badge

      Sorry AC: The only people who can pay for pensions are the ones working. Funded pensions vs. PAYG is just accounting.

      IOW, if there are no-one working there are no assets.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Someone who retires today in Japan at the age of 60 can expect to have someone draw their pension for over 45 years"

    There, now that's a little more like the truth as nobody ever checks that your oba-chan (granny) is still alive when you take her pension book down to the post office every week. Actually, given the sheer unhealthiness of the typical Japanese diet (high salt, high sugar, high iodine, high carb, low fibre, too many pickled/fermented foods plus lots of raw things that really would be safer cooked), the very high smoking rates and of course the inhumane work environment, it's a wonder any of them ever get to 60.

    But anyway, they are already reforming their state pension system so it has a sort of "one-and-a-half lock" - pensions will rise and also fall in step with average wages, except that if wages fall during a time of price inflation, pensions will be held level.

    1. Tachikoma

      I dunno, I have gone hiking in Japan and some old baba's and oji's in 5 layers of clothing easily overtook me in 35C and 90% humidity. Japanese pensioners are made out of harder stuff than most give them credit for, but yeah the "granny is 117 years old, no you can't see her, she's sleeping, what do you mean there's a funny smell coming from her room?" is rather too common for my liking.

      1. rogerthat1945

        I know a guy around 70 who constructs paths up the mountain at the back of my house in Japan.

  13. sebt
    Unhappy

    It's insane

    Every economic and ecological factor says we need to have less people around - i.e. have less children.

    But the short-term problem of how to pay for the enormous number of old people pushes against that: to satisfy that need, we need to have _more_ children - or import young people. Who will, in turn, grow (very) old and need looking after.

    I wish anyone in charge was engaged in any kind of long-term thinking.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: It's insane

      i.e. have less children.

      I did that! do i get any thanks? no

    2. 's water music Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: It's insane

      Of course the real story here is that it should be fewer children.

      Oh the insanity

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: It's insane

        "Of course the real story here is that it should be fewer children."

        No, less would be fine. Eating less, needing smaller clothes, smaller homes, smaller cars.

    3. Phukov Andigh Bronze badge

      Re: It's insane

      so instead we advocate for support of more young people simply because they had children they can't support without help?

      you say we need less old people so the solution is to support more young people. Problem is, the old people aren't making more old people. The societal debt of welfare programs that primarily support the breeding population, with a constant increase of *multigenerational* welfare recipients, is the real short term failure.

      You could both cut the population and breeding rates AND support the old people with the removal of (regardless of the pretense that it's anything but) government child support. "think of the children" is a constant increase of debt load. Old people, that debt load decreases over time.

      Problem is, except in cases of mental illness, older people with actual life experience are harder to lie to. they don't march in protests over stuff they've already marched for and found was a big lie the first time. So politically, they're not "useful" so we wind up the "pensioners are the problem!" rhetoric.

    4. rogerthat1945

      Re: It's insane

      Every time I suggest people have a sane lifestyle, & 2 or 3 children per couple (helps to avoid wars also [because governments can plan longer-term]) I get called a Nazi by the baboons who demand the right to ten abortions & ten children..

    5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: It's insane

      "I wish anyone in charge was engaged in any kind of long-term thinking."

      Any kind of thinking would be a start.

  14. Zare

    Yes it is true that people live longer and therefore a bigger proportion of people will be living at one moment ith age above retirement age, therefore less workers will support more pensioners.

    But I have feeling that they always forget to take into account the rise in productivity of people. There are huge gains in productivity, and therefore less people are needed to provide things for everybody.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      There are huge gains in productivity,

      really? theres probably a lot more people doing useless "B-Ark" jobs that dont need to be done though.

      If we are that much more productive - how come we dont get fridays off?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        UK productivity stats seem to be equal part wishful thinking, unicorn dust and Pentium fpu bug.

        I have a funny feeling post-brexit the formula used will magically change and show productivity continue to rise, whatever happens to the economy.

      2. the spectacularly refined chap

        If we are that much more productive - how come we dont get fridays off?

        Your hours have gone down. Slowly, over generations so you don't necessarily notice. I recall reading something about the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway c.1900 who were regarded as a model employer because of the sheer generosity of their terms. Working hours for clerical staff: 8-6 Mon-Sat. A very generous three days paid leave and the option of another three unpaid allowing an entire week off.

        That was a long time ago, but look at similar terms even the postwar period and they will still surprise you. You already have it easy. Nothing will ever be good enough for the chronic slacker.

        1. rogerthat1945

          Intellectual chimps don`t seem to understand that hours have not gone down since after WW2 military service.

          And some people don`t work because (for instance):-

          (A) Their hardworking ancestors factory machines were ruined by the Luddites.

          (B) Wars killed their grandfathers.... and the country just trampled over the corpses and brought in millions of immigrants to take over anyway.

          (C) "Whats the point of working for a country that is filling itself with parasites that working taxpayers have to fund while the country is going bankrupt?

          Nationaldebtclock.org

          Nobody sane would work for that.

      3. Orv Silver badge

        If we are that much more productive - how come we dont get fridays off?

        It's more profitable if you don't get Fridays off. And it's much more convenient and profitable to hire one full time person and leave someone else unemployed than it is to hire two part-time people. To corporations, unemployment is an externality that other people pay for.

        Every time productivity goes up, it means that those of us who are still employed are being asked to work harder for the same amount of money, and those of us who are unemployed have fewer chances at a paying job.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The obvious solution is to raise taxes on the young to pay for the older folk. After all, we've already contributed, so we deserve job and income protection. The youth of today have got so much disposable income - look at all the stuff they have - that they can clearly afford to be taxed a lot more. And now we're coming out of Europe there will be less chance for the idle millenniums to swan off to 'find themselves' around the planet. So they can bloody well get working and do something productive for once. Wasters.

    To help this all run smoothly, I'd lower the retirement age to 50 for 10 years only, then jack it back up to 70.

    I'm doing my own little bit by giving all our junior offshore staff the crappiest jobs to work on, keeping the best for my London team of contractors. No documentation either. F**k 'em.

  16. Jonjonz

    The 1% does not "ADD UP"

    Concerned about numbers globally not adding up, how about the fact that 1% of the population controls more than 3/4 s of the worlds resources, and their portion has been increasing geometrically the last few years. It's more like, the 1% saying, hey, we got ours, the lot of you can fight for the scraps and work till you drop.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: The 1% does not "ADD UP"

      That exactly what it is and it's worse than you think.

      https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2016/apr/08/global-inequality-may-be-much-worse-than-we-think

      Much worse.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In their Dreams

    Well the WEF ought to check the UK ONS latest data, life expectancy in the UK has gone DOWN over the last few years since 2010. Primarily due to the reduction of good health care services.

    The WEF & every other political body is using decades old data & extrapolating it forward to produce numbers for 30 years from now that the current data does NOT support today, never mind in 30 years.

    The standard of living in the western nations has been falling since 2002, this is born out by the lack of increase in wages since then & the halving in value of most currencies in the same period. So if we earn the same but can only buy half as much with our free cash, then your standard of living is definitely going down. Not to mention that UK healthcare spend in the same period has doubled in £ terms, which means its still at the 2003 rate, so basically NO increase in government spending on health in the last 15 years due to the value of the pound collapsing !

    YMMV

    1. Whitter
      Unhappy

      Retirement (and pension) age vs local life expectancy?

      As chair of a World Health Organization commission on the social factors that determine health, Michael Marmot and his colleagues took Glasgow as an example of stark health inequities, noting that a boy in the deprived area of Calton had an average life expectancy of 54 years compared with a boy from affluent Lenzie, 12 km away in East Dunbartonshire, who could expect to live to 82.

      <http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/89/10/11-021011/en/>

      The example of Japan is simply inappropriate to many other countries.

  18. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Fair and Balanced

    The logical solution would be to allow people in hard manual work to retire at 50 (35 years of hard labour and your body's getting towards worn out) while keep those people in soft easy jobs (CEO's, lawyers, accountants, politicians etc) working - and contributing to the retirement system - until they are 80.

  19. Anonnymous Hero
    Devil

    Howabout a cull

    Just keep running down the NHS and stop providing social care. The elderly that havent planned enough for retirement would soon stop being a burden to younger workers in the UK

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Howabout a cull

      Until the seniors get wise to the plan and go to the polls. Last I checked, seniors are some of the most consistently active voters.

  20. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    Three functional errors

    1) the assumption that anyone retiring with less than 120% of what they need are at fault.

    In the G20, several of the countries gutted and raided the government *mandated* pension plans that some of us were guaranteed when we was kids would cover all our needs. Usually the reasons for that gutting and in some cases outright theft of the pools were the magic fairy dust of reducing corporate taxes.

    2) the assumption that someone currently on some form of social assistance is a lazy assed slime sucker.

    Admittedly many have made a bad life choice or two along the way, but this does NOT mean that they ALL expect everyone else to make their bed. The folks making this assumption tend to be like me, quite healthy and capable of adapting to many circumstances, and thus have a hard time understanding why someone would *ever* want to end up on OMG look a that trash welfare. That dear boys and girls is called *bias* -- Since I've a child with HFA, we're doing all we can to ensure that this child is as well equipped for the world as possible. I know at least one person who has had a career wiped out by an asshole spouse, been dumped on the side of the road (quite literally) with both children and doing their best to acquire a new career. I'll not get into some medical conditions I know about.

    3. That everyone MUST work and everyone CAN work.

    In reality - and you need to pay attention to *real world* numbers our society. The functional work of the last 40 years was to increase the global wealth such that no people needed to live in poverty in order to sustain the wealth of a few. Do the numbers boys and girls. We hit that range of global wealth in the area of 2000 or 2005.

    Done correctly we could adjust things so that there is no longer a need to compete so aggressively for income that we have the 'OMG look at that trash' reaction to either the 'welfare cheater' or the 'oligarch in helicopter' types. And believe you me, if you have either reaction, you've been trained to have that reaction by the echo chamber you're living in.

    My echo chamber? I watch many - but I believe that balance is what counts. The Aga Khan and Dali Lama come close.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Three functional errors

      The oligarchs in the helicopter are blameless? The perception is just an echo chamber? Go on, pull the other one.

      https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2016/apr/08/global-inequality-may-be-much-worse-than-we-think

      1. Alistair Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Three functional errors

        @ecofeco:

        Never said *either* the lazy ass slime or the helicopter oligarch were blameless. I"m pointing out that the kneejerk reactionary extremist media are using the labels as levers to mandate the status quo, or at least the perpetuation of the myth of the status quo.

    2. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Three functional errors

      "In reality - and you need to pay attention to *real world* numbers our society. The functional work of the last 40 years was to increase the global wealth such that no people needed to live in poverty in order to sustain the wealth of a few. Do the numbers boys and girls. We hit that range of global wealth in the area of 2000 or 2005."
      Well said that man!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Three functional errors

        "Do the numbers boys and girls. We hit that range of global wealth in the area of 2000 or 2005."

        Are you sure about that? Can you perhaps demonstrate by showing the actual numbers?

        Also, what of the wealth held by the ultra-rich? Would they not be of a disposition if they can't have it, no one can, meaning that wealth can be considered inaccessible (they'll destroy it first before giving it up)?

  21. Del_Varner

    As long as you can keep the government from stealing the money.

    Policymakers must therefore ensure a "safety net" is provided for all workers, while improving access to well-managed, cost-effective retirement plans and encouraging increased contributions to these.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: As long as you can keep the government from stealing the money.

      OK, who PAYS for it? And how do you make sure it gets paid instead of people finding ways to dodge responsibility, to the point of packing up and leaving if necessary?

  22. Rob D.
    Joke

    The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long

    Legalise and make freely available everything necessary to support a terminally hedonistic, thrill seeking lifestyle for anyone over the State retirement age. Then anyone who wants a long and productive retirement can have one; anyone else can go out on literally the bender to end your life.

    The problem isn't long retirements - it's about making retirement so much fun no-one cares if it's a bit shorter than planned. Cosy Hearts Retirement Home "Double The Fun" seminars @7pm, "Spirits And How to Drink Them While Sky Diving".

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long

      Logans Run.

  23. Tom Paine Silver badge

    Pensions

    So I'm around 50, and for 25 years or so I always ticked the box on the form you get on induction day to say "Yes please take some of my pay, make a matching contribution and pay it into my pension" (Those things add up to 3-5% of your income in total, 5% being rare high-end figure afaik.) Being the sort of child of the 60s muppet who generally assumed The Powers That Be had got the basics pretty much covered, I never really worried about it and just filed the statements without worrying what they meant. (Of coure they were small numbers when I'd only been saving for ten years.)

    Now I have 15 years working life left, absolute tops -- if I'm exceptionally lucky and can stay employed in a profession where the median age is about 30 -- I started wondering about who pays my rent once I retire,and starting to feel uneasy about statements saying things like "This will pay you an annual pension of: £3500". IMAGINE my surprise to wake up one morning and hear a pensions expert on the radio saying "Of course, as you all know, everyone should be saving 10-15% of their income for a decent pension". Wait, what??

    As I don't own a house, I have a very bad feeling my retirement years will be spent in a council flat in a 30 story high rise in Wolverhampton. I'm pretty fucked off about this.

    That is all.

    1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: Pensions

      THIS! THIS! THIS! EXACTLY!

      Putting aside 5% of your income means that you need to put aside 19 years' income to have that same income for one year (ignoring interest). People working 40 years and putting away 5% are explicitly declaring that they only plan on staying alive for two years after retirement. Having actually been taught maths in primary school my target has been to put away 25%. That means that that same 40 years keeps me alive for 13 years - much longer when the magic of things like compound interest kick in.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Pensions

        The thing is J.G. first you have to HAVE the income to save FROM, and no amount of "maths" will make up for decades of insecure and unreliable jobs.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Pensions

        "That means that that same 40 years keeps me alive for 13 years - much longer when the magic of things like compound interest kick in."

        That magic if compound interest also applies to the 5% level. The real difference between the time you selected to pay a few % and now is that current interest rates are lower so that the returns your savings would pay in retirement are now much less. This is why so many pension schemes are in deficit. If interest rates kick up again your pension fund will start to offer higher returns.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Pensions

      They've moved the goal posts all our lives, Tom and they are still moving them and blaming the punters.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    don't world economic forums..

    also say we need to create UBIs and increase welfare benefits and "provide for everyone" as well?

    So we need to keep the Morlocks working longer and harder so the Eloi can drift with more.

    Mine's the pasty one that's hanging on your Edwardian time machine.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How will we -- or will we -- deal with age discrimination?

    I have no problem with a move to raise the retirement age just as long as the rules that allow companies to begin their age discrimination (they cost more, etc.) are tightened and that any companies that still engage in age discrimination are fined to the hilt. In some areas of the economy, you now have trouble being considered for jobs once you hit your mid-30s. A problem specific to the US is the silly belief in marketplace-driven health insurance being the only acceptable way of providing medical care. The costs associated with healthcare for older people is one of the main reasons US employers find ways to dump their older workers.

  26. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Megaphone

    I plan on working until I'm dead

    I plan on working until I'm dead. Retirement seems overrated.

    65 is WAY too young for the gummint retirement. It should be phased up to at LEAST 75 in 1 year increments every 2 years. it would take 20 years to get to 75, but by then it would be equivalent (life-expectancy wise) to what it was like in the 1940's when 65 became "the retirement age". This argument has been going on since the 80's in the USA, but _NOBODY_ had the chutzpah to actually DO it.

    then you can save things LIKE 'social security' (or its British counterpart, whatever that might be) while also making it available to people who paid into it all those years, etc..

    But yeah, NOBODY wants to touch it, because the HOWLER MONKEYS will come out (and downvote) accusing everyone of being "something-phobic" or worse, because, Political Correctness.

    1. Stork Bronze badge

      Re: I plan on working until I'm dead

      It seems like (some) EU politicians (and populations) are a bit more grown up about this. DK, UK and DE are all increasing retirement ages, even if not at the rate you suggest. Have a look here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retirement_in_Europe

      As you will note, a lot of countries are making a gradual increase.

  27. D. Evans

    Obviously manual labor doesn't count!

    I'd hate to be brickie trying to make 68 before retiring. Laying bricks is hard work, as are many other manual jobs.

    The proposed solution is a magic wand of raise the retirement age and retraining? How do you expect someone in their late 50s, with arthritis to do anything productive?

    This solution is making a crime out of being poor or uneducated.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Obviously manual labor doesn't count!

      Welcome to the Thatcher/Reagan New World Order.

      It's been crime to be poor in all of history, but now the poor are an artificial creation by the oligarchs.

      The new Antoinettes rule the world.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Obviously manual labor doesn't count!

        "Welcome to the Thatcher/Reagan New World Order."

        I've got news for you. You're about a generation out of date. If you need to look to the past to find out where the problems are from you need look no further back than Gordon Brown and his cohort of economic managers.

  28. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    We need to stop relying on *other* *people* for our pensions. Whatever happened to the principle of providing for your (own) old age? There's no way you can put 5% of your income to one side for 40 years to provide any significant fraction of that income for the subsequent 40 years.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      It died with offshoring jobs, pension cuts, unreliable jobs and pay cuts and zero hour "gig" jobs.

      Was this a trick question?

    2. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      So J.G. I take it you will be out paving your street this weekend?

      Perhaps putting in new sewage processing plant on your waste pipes?

      Perhaps you're going to pay for that nice NMRI machine you'll need in a couple of years?

      Jesus H popsicle sticks.

      Buy your own damn (blah) has to @#$@!#$ stop since we know damned well that doing things in LARGE numbers makes things more efficient. Especially when it comes to things like pension funds. The biggest issue here is that having financial corporations running your pension fund with listed stocks makes the corporation no longer responsible TO YOU and your pension fund, but to the STOCKHOLDERS. Therefore your pension fund is available to rape and risk at the whim of folks who have a primary mandate to line their own pockets. Governments in the past created pensions that were supposed to be directly responsible to the *voters*. Unfortunately since corporate entities (see above) managed to buy their way into government pockets, those pensions got raped and raided just like the ones that are privately held.

      Honesty and integrity have been for sale for a hell of a long time and until that part of human nature is fixed a lot of things on this planet are fucked.

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        That's not relying on other people to provide my poension, that's replying on other people to provide the services I use. In exactly the same way that I don't slaughter my own meat or harvest my own wheat or remove my own appendix.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Work longer? ... Honestly I'd rather sign up to:

    - Logan's Run 'Carousel- Renewal'...

    - or

    - Soylent Green...

    .

    ....Than spend more years working to pay for bankster corruption...

    ....The ones really responsible always get off too, how sick is that!....

    =========================

    #1. "Part of the problem stems from the massive €200bn national debt. That mountain of borrowings is a legacy from the financial crisis. The State pays €6.7bn in interest every year. Put another way 14% of taxes which go to the Exchequer go to pay the interest on our borrowings."

    https://www.rte.ie/news/analysis-and-comment/2017/0602/879787-economic-challenges-for-next-taoiseach/

    =========================

    #2. "Why the FitzPatrick trial became a shambles - It was perhaps the most high profile white collar case in the history of the State. Sean FitzPatrick, former chairman of the Anglo Irish Bank, was accused of misleading the bank’s auditors in relation to loans issued to him by the bank. Those borrowings reached €100m at one point but were not disclosed Anglo’s annual report as they should have been."

    https://www.rte.ie/news/business-analysis/2017/0526/878219-why-the-fitzpatrick-trial-became-a-shambles/

    =========================

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Work longer? ... Honestly I'd rather sign up to:

      HA! I posted the same up-thread.

    2. Buttons

      Re: Work longer? ... Honestly I'd rather sign up to:

      I'm at that age where I am unemployed but have to work another 5 years before I collect a pension, if there is one. Ageism exists, at least where I live, but one gets by.

      At the rate things are going, see latest Conservative manifesto, I would not be surprised if the solution they come up with works like this:

      1) Raise retirement age to 150 years, therefore no pensions pay out until genetics catches up, which will be for well off people anyway.

      2) Put old people into workhouses /privatised care homes.

      3) Old people contracted to work in workhouses /privatised care homes, producing goods for tokens.

      4) Tokens pay for health care and basic living necessities, like food, clothes, rent, prescriptions etc. I seem to remember someone saying prisons work like this.

      5) Any excess wealth accrued over lifetime pays for health care and basic living necessities.

      6) When money runs out, implement euthanasia clause in contract to prevent them becoming a burden on society

      7) When too frail to work, implement euthanasia clause in contract to prevent them becoming a burden on society.

      8) Sell body parts for recycling (Soylent green was people, you know) and collect whatever is left of lifetime wealth.

      9) Have a great slogan outside each institution saying something like "Work sets you free"

      This way old people will be able to make a contribution into their old age without being a burden on the rest of society. The will pay their own way and the demand on the NHS will be reduced. Win, Win.

  30. ecofeco Silver badge

    Raise the retirement age?

    They can fuck right off with this bullshit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Raise the retirement age?

      Problem is, what if it F's BACK?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    See sense baboons

    The problem is the creeps who think its as easy for men to still fight wars at age 70, or to dig coal, or to build in baking heat or freezing cold the concrete structures from under the ocean (tunnels) to buildings to the clouds, whilst women & the effeminate creeps pontificate from air-conditioned offices.

  32. Jim Oase

    Ponzi schemes still don't work... who would have guessed?

    Union retirement plans, Social Security, medical insurance, welfare are all Ponzi schemes. Illegal for most people and organizations to operate because they are guaranteed to fail in the long run. Yet our government and unions implement these Ponzi schems by saying "This time its different".

  33. Astara

    They want to raise the retirement age, but where will those people work? If they work in the tech industry, the idea of working till "retirement" would be (I say 'would be' because I know of no-one working until "retirement age" in the software industry) a joke w/age bias and discrimination. I can't see how raising the retirement age will help...

  34. nilfs2
    FAIL

    Work to live, not the other way

    Let's not forget that we work to live, not live to work, the problem is not the world population demographics, the problem is the economic model, it is broken by design, a model of eternal grow is stupid.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Work to live, not the other way

      Can you think of anything better, though? I think the problem behind the problem is that, although our current model is the best of the lot (name any other and you'll find fatal flaws, guaranteed), it's still insufficient. Which means we're up the proverbial creek.

  35. rogerthat1945

    If only they could get the suicide rate to increase. It would save the governments a lot of work doing their jobs properly.

    They just have to make sure that its mostly white men under 50 who kill themselves because life is made so difficult. As Perfidious Albion has managed to do for many years.

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