"When the state retirement age is heading every upwards towards 70 it's very difficult to take the 'automation' argument seriously at all. When it gets down below 50 there may be a case."
But doesn't that in turn put a burden on the rest of society? When people live longer without working, they tend to end up taking away more than they put in while they were working, which is actually one counterargument to a robust healthcare system that doesn't raise the retirement age to compensate.
Japan's really feeling the pinch now as their population distribution skews heavily towards the elderly. Many other first-world countries are starting to feel this pinch as well (the US gave some concrete examples; e.g. Social Security was once feed by 20+ workers per recipient. Now it's just 2).