UK

Over 50s say compulsory retirement age 'unnecessary'

Older people
Image caption Many people want to continue working and not be forced to retire

A majority of older people do not want to be forced to retire at 65, according to a survey.

The government has already announced proposals to scrap the default retirement age.

A survey of the over 50s found that 67% of those polled felt that the default retirement age was unnecessary anyway.

The online poll of 13,000 people was conducted by Saga and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA).

The survey also found that 85% of people thought the default retirement age was used as an excuse by employers to get rid of staff.

Most commonly, people said they wanted to work past retirement age to earn money - 61% - followed by 59% who wanted to keep their mind active, while 50% said it was for enjoyment.

And 90% believed the decision on when to retire should depend on someone's ability and desire to work, not their age.

Pension age rise

But the CBI said that without a default retirement age, employers would not be able to plan ahead, and added that 80% of people who asked to continue working were allowed to do so.

Saga's editor-at-large, Emma Soames, said moving from full-time work to retirement "should be more akin to strolling to the beach rather than being pushed off a cliff".

She added: "Our research very clearly shows that a default retirement age is arbitrary for many people approaching retirement and many feel unsupported, particularly if they want to continue working."

The government is to speed up plans to raise the state pension age for men to 66, possibly by as early as 2016.

Ministers will also raise the option of extending it further, perhaps to 70 and beyond, in the following decades.

And the government has said it will be talking to business and other groups about ending the default retirement age.

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