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  #641  
Old 07-22-2019, 08:05 PM
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FRANCE

https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/f...184237312.html

Quote:
French citizens may soon have to work longer to get full pension
A new proposal to save public money would force french citizens to either retire later or accept smaller pension checks.


Spoiler:
The age when French citizens can receive a full pension should be put back to 64 from 62, the government's special adviser to the president on pension reform said on Thursday.

In a report, Jean-Paul Delevoye, said workers could still retire at 62 as promised by President Emmanuel Macron during his campaign, but they would have to work two years longer to draw a full pension without any discount in a new system due to take effect in 2025.

The reform, which aims to unify 42 different pension schemes into a single, points-based system, is potentially explosive.

Private pension plans are little used in France and so most workers draw their pensions from the compulsory state-backed system.

Labour unions have a record of opposing changes to pensions, often sending millions onto the streets to protest.

On Thursday, two hardline unions, FO and CGT, called for strikes on September 21 and 24.

"This system is all smoke and mirrors," Philippe Martinez, leader of the Communist-backed CGT union, which has long commanded support from government employees and workers at power plants and railways.

"The message we're sending to workers today is that we should mobilise."

Two years into his presidency, Macron is eager to relaunch his reform agenda after spending several months rebuilding political capital and trying to quell anti-government "yellow vest" protests.

The yellow vest movement started among provincial workers who camped out at traffic circles to protest an increase in fuel taxes, sporting the high-visibility vests all French drivers must keep in their cars for emergencies.

The protests spread to people across political, regional, social and generational divides angry at economic injustice and the way Macron is running France. At its height, a quarter of a million people marched around France and polls suggested more than 80 percent of French people supported the movement.

Macron, a former investment banker, lost little time in his first months in office overhauling a strict labour code to make it easier to hire and fire, as employers had long urged, and also brought in tax cuts for investors and companies to encourage investment that would create jobs.

But plans to reform unemployment insurance were only unveiled in June after months of delay, and the government is now treading carefully with the pension overhaul, which is not expected to pass through Parliament before the end of the year.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe was careful to flag negotiations with unions, in contrast with the first raft of reforms, which Macron rammed through Parliament via decrees, infuriating even the most reformist unions.

"A new phase to listen and consult social partners and citizens will start on this basis," he tweeted.

However, Delevoye is a close Macron ally, and people close to him say his recommendations are in line with what the president wants and are unlikely to change much in the bill.

The reform is especially aimed at the "special pension regimes" of the state railway operator SNCF, the Paris metro company RATP and state utilities such as EDF, whose pension plans receive 5.5 billion euros ($6.2bn) every year from taxpayers to plug their chronic deficit.

Laurent Berger, leader of the reformist CFDT, France's biggest union, said Delevoye's recommendations were "only a report", suggesting that he expected some flexibility.

"The CFDT will offer an opinion once we are presented with a bill," he said. "This report is just one step."


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  #642  
Old 07-23-2019, 04:59 AM
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FRANCE

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/news/f...-jump-5034162/
Quote:
French fury for retirement age jump
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Updated 4 days ago

French unions have vowed to strike after the government asked them to work two years longer and retire at 64. President Emmanuel Macron’s reforms include a single pension scheme instead of the current 42. The reforms mean those retiring at the current official retirement age of 62 will not receive a full pension – they must work until they are 64 to do so. French lawyers, covered under their own scheme, said the reform was a death sentence for their profession. France is renowned for its focus on work-life balance with its official 35-hour working week one of the shortest in Europe.
https://www.express.co.uk/news/world...aunes-protests
Quote:
Macron to trigger French pensioners crisis as he calls for French to WORK MORE
EMMANUEL MACRON looks set to trigger another wave of furious protests after the French government reveals plans for a controversial pension reform.

Spoiler:
French citizens will only get a full pension from the age of 64 instead of 62 now, the government's special advisor on pension reform revealed today. Workers will still be able to retire at 62, as promised by Mr Macron during his presidential campaign, but they will only draw a full pension without any discounts if they work two years longer. The new system would be introduced in 2025, Jean-Paul Delevoye said in a report due to be presented to the prime minister.

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The reform is potentially explosive, with unions having traditionally sent millions of people onto the streets to protest against previous changes to pensions.

Mr Macron has been hit by wave after wave of angry, and often violent, protests in the past year.

Beginning last November, Gilets Jaunes protestors have shut down major French cities in protest over tax reform and other deeper issues in the country, such as class division.

More than 4,000 people have been injured in the chaos, with 15 killed in protest-related traffic accidents, illnesses or injuries.

Nigel Farage calls Macron 'updated version of Napoleon'
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Last weekend Paris was once again plunged into chaos when protestors disrupted the annual Bastille Day parade in the heart of the city.

Police were forced to deploy tear gas when protestors warmed the Champs-Elysée.

The famous boulevard was reopened to traffic as soon as the military parade finished, but a few hundred protesters tried to occupy it.

France's BFM television showed images of police firing tear gas to disperse the protesters, some hooded and trying to block the road with metal barricades, dustbins and other debris.

Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron has been hits by waves of violent protests in France (Image: GETTY)
Several loud bangs could be heard. Protesters hurled objects at the police, booed and set bins on fire.

Police drove some of the demonstrators to adjacent streets where they regrouped and set up new barricades, drawing more tear gas fire.

The Police Prefecture said on Twitter it had ordered the protesters to leave the area, or be forcibly removed.

Paris was hit by more chaos later that evening when Algerian football supporters celebrated their African Cup of Nations semi-final victory.




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  #643  
Old 07-30-2019, 06:58 AM
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UGANDA
https://observer.ug/viewpoint/61430-...ent-age-review
Quote:
There is bad faith in retirement age review

Spoiler:
The ministry of Public Service has opened new divisions among Ugandans with its proposal to raise the retirement age of certain categories of public servants from 60 to 70 years.

The ministry claims the worst-hit sector is health, which has few specialists, who must be retained for an extra ten years. The ministry argues that the population of Uganda is growing fast against a slower production of medical specialists. And this, they argue, calls for a review of the employment terms of medical workers.

But this argument is lame. This affirmative action is not clothed in good faith. Uganda has since elevated certain public and private universities to teach medicine. Before, it was only Makerere University producing medical doctors. Simply put, government has failed to retain the many doctors coming out of our universities.

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Medical doctors work under very bad conditions and their pay is miserable. And there’s also a problem with staff career development schemes in government medical facilities. If plans and strategies to fill up specialists’ gaps were followed up, Public Service would not be proposing such desperate measures.

The answer lies in reviewing the employment terms such as improving working conditions, better pay and cultivating an atmosphere where staff specialize in those areas which are badly needed.

The public service standing orders of 2010 also empower the ministry to employ public servants with rare specialization or skills, who have attained retirement age, on short-term renewable contracts. So, aging doctors could be given two-year contracts in order to sort out any needs for specialized services.

Another reason why this proposal is tainted is that we have had cases where soon-to-retire public servants have sworn affidavits varying their ages – saying they had since discovered that information relating to their ages was not accurate.

They blamed this on the fact that many of them were not born in hospitals where medical records were kept. They also claimed their guardians or parents were illiterate and did not put much emphasis on their dates of birth.

But this dodgy creativity of the claimants was mainly motivated by the apparent fear of the unknown after retirement. It appears then, that the Public Service ministry wants to come to the aid of such categories of people in proposing to revise the retirement age upwards.

Very few public servants look forward to retirement. Why? Because retirement means to stop working for a living. President Museveni once blamed youth unemployment on the success of immunization, implying that in the past many children died in infancy.

It appears the Public Service ministry had not realized that there are many young qualified individuals completing school and ought to replace the old people.

Public servants don’t need to amend their dates of birth; they ought to retire to give younger people greater opportunities for employment. In an age when people are living longer and technology is displacing more and more workers, the attitude of Public Service should not be to revise the retirement age upwards.

The mindset that specialists are only useful while hanging onto offices, should be demolished. By contrast, doctors, judges and teachers can contribute and still be useful to their fields after retirement.


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  #644  
Old 08-15-2019, 02:41 PM
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SINGAPORE

https://www.straitstimes.com/busines...ife-expectancy
Quote:
IPS: Tie retirement age to changing life expectancy

Spoiler:
The Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) has recommended that the retirement age be tied to a dynamic life expectancy measure.

Its suggestions come ahead of planned updates from a tripartite workgroup about changing retirement and re-employment ages.

The IPS said in a policy brief released on Monday that these ages should be based on health-adjusted life expectancy (Hale), which is the average number of years a Singapore resident might be expected to live in full health.


It suggested setting the re-employment age as Hale but with a 10-year lag, rounded down to the nearest whole number, and the retirement age five years below the re-employment age.

This means the re-employment age in 2029 would be 74, as Hale is now 74.2 years.

This is 12 years above the current statutory retirement age of 62 and seven years above the re-employment age of 67.


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Employers cannot dismiss workers on the grounds of age before they reach the retirement age and they must offer eligible staff work up to the re-employment age but with flexibility to adjust contract terms.

"The adoption of a dynamic benchmark such as Hale for Singapore's legislated re-employment ages will better align the successful ageing objectives of older workers with productivity goals desired by employers and in the national interest," said IPS senior research fellow Christopher Gee and research associate Damien Huang in the paper.

An update on the timeline for raising retirement and re-employment ages will be given by the Tripartite Workgroup on Older Workers by next month, after consensus was reached on the need to raise the ages. The workgroup was formed last year and comprises representatives from the Government, employers and unions.

The Institute of Policy Studies said that a worker aged 55 would be able to save between $31,000 and $145,000 more in his ordinary and special accounts, depending on his income bracket, if the total contribution rates are 37 per cent until he is 65 y

In his annual National Day Message on Thursday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the retirement and re-employment ages will be raised to help older Singaporeans who wish to work longer. This topic is among those he will talk about at the National Day Rally on Aug 18.

Mr Gee and Mr Huang said having fixed legislated ages for retirement and re-employment can lead to policy lags and arbitrarily classifies those above the specified age as old and no longer as productive.

"This anchoring effect can accentuate ageist mindsets among both employers and employees by reinforcing the legislated ages as markers that serve as convenient reference points for exiting the workforce."

The 10-year lag they recommend allows different demographic groups within each cohort to enjoy improvements in Hale before their relevant ages are raised, and also gives employers lead time to prepare, they said.

The researchers noted that countries such as Denmark, Greece, the Netherlands and Portugal have already made an explicit link between their normal retirement age and pension eligibility age to life expectancy.

They added that they are not recommending tying the Central Provident Fund payout eligibility age to Hale, as that age is based more on the considerations of retirement adequacy and longevity risk, rather than healthy years.
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  #645  
Old 08-25-2019, 05:04 PM
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SINGAPORE



https://news.yahoo.com/singapore-rai...145745782.html

Quote:
Singapore to raise retirement age to 65 years - prime minister

Spoiler:
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore will gradually raise its retirement age by three years to 65, its prime minister said on Sunday.

The retirement age will rise to 63 in 2022 from the current retirement age of 62 and to 65 by 2030, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.

Singapore, which has the longest life expectancy at birth in the world, is growing more dependent on its older residents as birth rates fall and foreign labour is restricted.

"Most seniors in fact don't want to stop working," the prime minister said. "We are healthy for longer and living longer, but we don't want to spend more years in retirement."

"Also many of us want to build up a bigger nest egg for when we eventually retire."

Singapore will also raise its so-called re-employment age from 67 to 70 by 2030. Under the re-employment law, companies in Singapore are required to offer eligible employees the option of continuing to work until they are 67.

Lee said the public service will raise its retirement and re-employment ages one year earlier in 2021.

The prime minister made the announcement in his annual National Day rally speech, in which he laid out policies and priorities for the government.

Singapore is facing slowing growth prospects this year. It cut its full-year economic growth forecast last week amid fears of recession in the city-state that has been hit hard by the China-U.S. trade war.

Lee said should U.S.-China relations continue to deteriorate, it was bad news for Singapore. He said that while the current situation did not warrant immediate stimulus measures, the government would respond with appropriate interventions if the situation got much worse.


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  #646  
Old 08-25-2019, 05:06 PM
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UNITED KINGDOM

https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/how-f...ement-18962821
Quote:
How to find out your retirement age amid talks to make state pension age 75
Teenagers and those in their 20s in the UK can now expect to work until 75 as the state pension age rises to cope with the ageing population and longer lifespans - but where exactly does that leave you?
Spoiler:
It's supposed to be simple. You pay into a pot over the course of your career, and when you retire, you get a weekly payment to support your living expenses.

Except it couldn't be more complicated. Confusion over how many National Insurance Credits you need, coupled with changes in April 2016 and the problematic State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (Serps), have turned the state pension into a labyrinth that even experts struggle to follow.

Now it means everyone's retiring on a different rate and worse, some people don't even know when it'll happen.

An investigation by the Mirror this week revealed that the Government is in talks to increase the state pension age to 75 over the next 16 years.

The proposals would see the eligible age jump to 70 by 2028 and 75 by 2035.

And the first people likely to be affected by the change would be those born between March 6, 1961 and April 5, 1977.

It's left many people wondering whether they'll be affected and of course, at what age they'll finally be allowed to give up work.

When the State Pension was introduced in 1948, a 65-year-old could expect to spend 13.5 years in receipt of it – around 23% of their adult life.

However, in 2017, the DWP said that this had risen to 22.8 years, or 33.6% of their adult life.

As a result, the number of people over the state pension age in the UK expected to hit 16.9 million by 2042.

And so with an ageing population and longer lifespans - the Government is now having to increase the retirement age to cope with the cost of it.

What is the State Pension age?

The state pension age is the earliest age you can claim your Government pension. It depends entirely on when you were born.

Under previous guidelines, the age at which you could claim it was 65 for men and 60 for women.

But huge jumps in life expectancy have seen costs shoot up for the Treasury, which is now paying some pensioners for more years in retirement than they spent paying National Insurance as workers.

So when will I retire?

The changes to the state pension age are aimed at bringing the women's state pension age into line with men's, and taking account everyone living longer (Image: Getty)
In 2017, the Government announced that a planned age increase to 68, due to happen between 2044 and 2046, would take place between 2037 and 2039 instead. However this is yet to be made official.

Currently, the retirement age is approaching 66 for both men and women.

It will reach 66 by 2020 before climbing to 67 between 2026 and 2028 through a series of gradual increases, with those born in 1961 and beyond being the first to collect their state pension at 67.

The Government has said it would not look to enshrine the change in law to bring it to 68 until 2023, after the date of the next general election in 2022.

Labour, meanwhile, has been opposed to pension age increases, so if it wins the next election the pension age could remain at 66.

What about people born today?

The Government has made no secret of the fact that future retirement ages are still up for debate - the group that could see themselves working until the ripe old age of 75.

At present, those currently under the age of 39 will have to wait to see what their state pension age will be.

For a personalised estimate on the current plans, use the Government website gov.uk/calculate-state-pension.


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  #647  
Old 09-05-2019, 05:17 AM
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UNITED KINGDOM

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/pens...state-raise-uk
Quote:
Raising the retirement age to 75 won't fix the UK's pension problem
The UK provides the lowest state pension in the developed world, accounting for a mere 16 per cent of the income made during work. There are better ways to pension
Spoiler:
Like most developed countries across the world, the UK’s population is tipping rapidly into old age. By 2042, 24 per cent of people living in the UK will be aged 65 or older, up from 18 per cent in 2016. The all important ratio between working people and pensioners is shifting, and as a result, the weight of the financial burden is growing.

Earlier this week, centre-right think tank The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), chaired by former secretary of state for work and pensions and Conservative party MP Iain Duncan Smith, recommended raising the retirement age more rapidly than is currently planned – up to 75 in the next 15 years. At present, the retirement age is on course to reach 67 by 2028, and 68 between 2044 and 2046 (although in 2017 the government announced plans to accelerate it to 68 between 2037 and 2039). By contrast, the CSJ report advocates increasing the age for receiving state pension to 70 by 2028 and 75 by 2035. But is simply pushing the retirement age up indefinitely the best answer to an ageing population?

“If life expectancy continues to improve, then we should expect it to continually increase,” says David Blake, director of the Pensions Institute, a research centre. To preserve intergenerational fairness, this age should shift as life expectancy goes up, he argues. But while seemingly intuitive, the idea of continually nudging up the retirement age poses a number of issues – chief among them that life expectancy in the UK has stalled since 2011. As of 2018, it was only increasing by 1.2 weeks per year, making any expected gains over the next ten to 15 years negligible if this trend persists.

It’s government policy that each person should work for roughly two thirds of their adult lives, and enjoy retirement for up to one third. Given that the current average UK life expectancy is 80.96 years, postponing the retirement age to 75 would mean the average UK citizen experiencing a mere six years of retirement before death. This is a radical curtailment from the current amount of time enjoyed, which is the best part of 15 years.

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More pressingly, in some of the UK’s most impoverished areas, the average life expectancy skims 75. In Liverpool, for example, the male life expectancy is 76.1, meaning that people in the city would be working up to the grave despite making National Insurance and income tax contributions their whole working lives.

Because of this, some have critiqued the lack of nuance afforded by a universally applied retirement age. For example, British life peer and UK pensions expert, Ros Altmann, has called for basing the age of retirement on a collection of factors such as health status, unpaid work such as caring, and the length of contributions to national insurance. This would translate into an adaptable, “means-tested” retirement age rather than the standard age cut-off in effect now.

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CSJ has been influential on the policies of the Conservative party before, for instance providing the groundwork for its controversial Universal Credit policy. However, in this case, work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd has released a statement saying that the government is not considering the proposal. Part of the reason might be that the issue is a political landmine.

“Increasing to 75 right now would be quite a leap, and it would be hard to implement politically,” says Blake, pointing out that the recent abrupt increase in the retirement age of women born in the 50s, from 60 to 66, was met with outrage. In many cases, women affected only discovered that the age had been pushed back by six years when they went to claim their pension, scuppering their financial plans for later life. Surveys carried out on those affected found that reports of attempted suicide and self-harm were common. A campaign, BackTo60 was launched as a result.

Many dispute that raising the retirement age is the best response to an ageing population. “It's fundamentally saying: ‘We've got a problem with the economy, but we need to fix the way that society behaves, the way that we live our lives, and ultimately affect the quality of our lives’,” says Alfie Stirling, head of economics at the New Economics Foundation, a progressive think tank. “Are people there to work for an economy? Or should the economy be there to work for people?”

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At a basic level, an ageing population creates a fiscal problem, as the government needs to pay more in pensions and old age benefits. This inevitably brings us to the issue of taxes: the UK’s rates are lower than most western European countries’ – and while that tends to sound appealing to workers, it has unexpected consequences. People pay a smaller proportion of tax on their income, but public funds, including welfare and pensions, are starved of cash relative to countries with higher taxes. “There's a contradiction there, which is, if you hadn't made the tax cuts in the first place, people wouldn't have to be working longer,” Stirling points out. He advocates economy-based rather than people-based solutions, such as a more progressive taxation model that taxes capital at the same rates as labour.

Stepping back, it’s necessary to examine how pensions fit into the overall social welfare machine. The UK provides the lowest state pension in the developed world, accounting for a mere 16 per cent of the income made during work. The UK also differs in the proportion of public transfers (state pension and benefits) that make up the average source of income for older people. In the UK, this is about 40 per cent, whereas in Spain, France, and Germany this is around 70-75 per cent. Instead, occupational pensions make up a larger proportion of income for older person, at around 30 per cent.

An average UK pensioner’s income is worth 29 per cent of their earnings at retirement. Among the developed countries making up the OECD, the average is 63 per cent, while the average for EU member states is 71 per cent. In the Netherlands, Turkey and Croatia, pensioners receive more than 100 per cent of their salary in retirement.

There are two political science models that form the basis of pension systems: Beveridgean and Bismarckian. Bismarckian models are adopted in countries that generally have high taxes, and more supportive welfare state systems. In these countries, there is not much private sector provision contained in pensions. The Beveridgean model, meanwhile, is what has shaped the UK’s relationship to the welfare state. This model dictates that the state should provide a minimum level of support to prevent people falling into poverty. “But you are expected to make private sector provision if you don’t want to have a minimal standard of living in retirement,” explains Blake. This, he says, is the primary difference between the two models.

Both systems have issues: Bismarckian setups are heavily reliant on state spending. Some of the most successful pension systems in the world are a mixture of the two. The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index 2018 ranks the pensions systems in the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland – countries with some of the highest taxes and mixed pension models – as the best in the world. The UK’s, however, ranks far below, and was given a global grade of C+.

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By MARIANA MAZZUCATO

Important indices reflect the inadequacy of the system. In the UK, people over 65 suffer the worst poverty rates in Western Europe. What’s more, this rate is five times what it was in 1986. This is down to a meagre state pension and means-tested supplements, according to the report Pension Reforms and Old Age Inequalities in Europe, published this month by academics at the University of Oxford. “The United Kingdom is a good example of the Beveridge-lite systems that have historically failed to combat old-age poverty,” professor Bernhard Ebbinghaus, the report’s lead author, told The Guardian. The lowest poverty rates among the elderly are found in the Netherlands, where there are generous basic pensions and the Nordic welfare states.

But why has poverty among the elderly increased fivefold since the 1980s? The research found that, overall, those European countries that had made private pensions an important source of income for the elderly had seen a rise in financial inequality. “The comparison shows that the shift toward increasing privatisation amplifies the already existing level of social inequality,” Ebbinghaus said.

Instigated under Margaret Thatcher, who during her 11 years in Number 10 implemented a drastic privatisation agenda, UK public services have been further chiselled away by the austerity policies of recent years, which have gouged £40 billion a year from the work and pensions budget through cuts and freezes to tax credits and benefits. A 2019 UN report noted the "systematic immiseration [economic impoverishment]" of a significant part of the UK population, which explains the fifth of the populace (14 million people) who live in poverty, with another four million trapped in deep poverty (defined as having an income at least 50 per cent below the official breadline).

Blake says that in the Netherlands, people willingly contribute 20 per cent of their salary to their pension funds, a sum “that to 25-year-olds in the UK would be unthinkable”. That sentiment is more understandable when one takes into account that real wages in the UK are lower than they were ten years ago, and are increasing slower than all of the G20 countries. Indeed, as Blake notes: “The highest growth in employment in Britain is amongst over 65s, who are having to stay in work as they can’t afford to retire.”

Despite all this, working until later in life isn’t necessarily an uncontested evil. Instead, the problem may hinge on the expectation that we’ll work long and intense schedules right up until retirement. “That can lead to all sorts of problems during working life in terms of well-being, and it can also create this cliff edge, where people experience a lack of identity or a lack of purpose once they’ve retired,” says Stirling.

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Finland's grand universal basic income experiment raises more questions than it answers
By SANJANA VARGHESE

Alternative solutions include tapering off working life more slowly, with incremental steps down in the number of working hours or responsibilities, along with greater flexibility and less punishing work schedules during our working lives. To solve the issue of pensions for an ageing population, it’s clear that simply raising the retirement age masks deep fractures in the UK’s economic model. It’s a whole dysfunctional ecosystem, of which pension provision is only one part.
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Old 10-03-2019, 05:18 PM
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VIRGINIA BEACH

https://www.13newsnow.com/article/ne...8-6d4b1fdc3c4d
Quote:
Human Rights Commission votes on recommendation for council on mandatory retirement age
This is a discussion they were brought into after some felt forced retirement at age 65 was "age discrimination."
Spoiler:
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission weighed in on the discussion about mandatory retirement age again.

On Thursday night, they voted on a recommendation to city council regarding forced retirement.

Their new letter states:

Regarding the much-publicized mandatory retirement age in the City of Virginia Beach, the Human Rights Commission feels that if forced retirement is based solely on age, it's inappropriate 'age discrimination.'

This is a discussion they were brought into after some felt forced retirement at age 65 was "age discrimination."

But, not all who spoke Thursday night felt the same way.

"By you all suggesting that it's age discrimination, moving from 70 to 65 is age discrimination, it's not," said Sheriff Ken Stolle.

Sheriff Stolle passionately defended the current law. He did that even after some questioned why he raised the age to 70 five years ago for the Sheriff's Office, only to agree to bring it back down to 65 just this year.

"When we went to pay parity, the idea was that we had to come back in line with all the benefits the police department had. The city manager, Dave Hansen, insisted that we do that so I came back down to 65," he said.

He also said when it was raised, it affected the department's retainment rates. But since a survey came out showing many law enforcement officers favor keeping it at 65, Sheriff Stolle said he made the right choice.

However, Chief Jim Cervera repeatedly, who wants the age raised to 70, referred to points Sheriff Stolle made in that 2015 council agenda item, which read:

Mandatory retirements create shortages of skilled and experienced workers within the Sheriff's Office. Additionally, health and longevity in the United States has been improving. In fact, data suggests that those in their early sixties today are as healthy as those in their mid-50s decades ago. Increasing the retirement age promotes employment of older persons based on their ability to perform the essential functions of the job rather than eliminate them based on age. Overall improvement in health and abilities of individuals between the ages of 55 and 65 suggest that mandatory retirement is unfair, particularly for those who maintain the ability to perform the essential functions of the job and do so competently. Furthermore, forced retirement of older workers whose skill has been exclusively with the employer find it harder to secure jobs compared to younger counterparts. They also suffer larger wage reduction upon re-employment. Accordingly, it is in the Sheriff's Office's and the employees' best interests to increase the retirement age to seventy (70).

Chief Cervera brought two officers with him who'll be 65 this year, who want to keep working. He said there's still more work to be done if true parity is the goal.

"I just have a tough problem with all of this. Let's not worry about Jim Cervera. Take him out of the equation. Jim's a boy. I know about life. I'm worried about the cops," Chief Cervera said to the commission.

But, Max Gonano, President of the Firefighters Association, felt this Human Rights Commission should sit out of this conversation.

"I think you guys do excellent work and a reason why this city is so progressive. However, I don't believe this is a Human Rights Commission issue so I'm asking you to not weigh in on it. I don't want you to possibly ruin your credibility by doing so," he said.

It led to tense moments with Commissioner Luis Rivera. Both apologized to each other later on, reassuring one another these meetings are meant to be inclusive of all voice.

The commission is finalizing the letter Friday and sending it to city council.
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https://www.theguardian.com/money/20...les-high-court
Quote:
Women not entitled to pension age change compensation, high court rules
Nearly 4m women born in 1950s not entitled to restitution over pension age rise, judges rule


Spoiler:
Almost 4 million women born in the 1950s will not be compensated for the money they lost when the pension age was raised from 60 to 66, the high court has decided.

Two claimants took the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to court, arguing that raising their pension age “unlawfully discriminated against them on the grounds of age, sex, and age and sex combined”.

Lord Justice Irwin and Mrs Justice Whipple said in their judgment on Thursday that they were saddened by the claimants’ stories but that the court’s role was limited.

In a judgment dismissing the claim on all grounds, including age discrimination, sex discrimination and lack of notice, they said: “The wider issues raised by the claimants about whether the choices were right or wrong, or good or bad, were not for the court. They were for members of the public and their elected representatives.”


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But the campaign group BackTo60, which bought the claim on behalf of women affected by the pension changes – many of whom who only found out their pension age had increased when they applied to draw it, or shortly before – said they would appeal against the decision.

Joanne Welch from the group said: “They can’t knock us back. We’ve got a fierce and powerful armoury behind us. As well as the 3.8 million women affected, we have the support of 215 MPs, Unite, Unison, TUC and others.

“If we were a political party, we would be the third biggest, so come on Boris Johnson: you pledged during the Tory leadership campaign that you would look at this issue with fresh vigour. There’s a general election coming up. You need our votes and we are holding you to that undertaking.”

Marcia Willis Stewart of Birnberg Peirce, which represented the claimants, said: “We are deeply disappointed by this decision.” She added that the aim of the “arduous legal process” was “to rectify a substantial and far-reaching injustice”.

“Sadly, today that injustice remains,” she said. “The struggling on behalf of those beleaguered women, whose stories saddened the judges but for whom this judgment provided no relief, will continue.”

The shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, tweeted: “Disappointed to hear about today’s decision. I will continue to support campaign in their fight against pension inequality.”

The Green party MP, Caroline Lucas tweeted: “Deeply disappointing that the courageous and unjustly treated women have lost their judicial review in the high court. The gross pensions injustice for 1950s women remains – I will continue to support their fight.”

The Unison general secretary, Dave Prentis, called the judgment “perverse”. He said: “This is a terrible blow for the millions of women who will have been hoping for a very different outcome today. The decision to hike the state pension age with next to no notice didn’t just throw their retirement plans up in the air, it also left many women on lower incomes really struggling to make ends meet.

“It seems perverse that the Department for Work and Pensions had no obligation to inform these women of this significant change.”

The judgment found that there had been no discrimination by the DWP based on age “but even if there was, it could be justified on the facts. This legislation operated in the field of macro-economic policy; the underlying objective of the change was to ensure that the state pension regime remained affordable while striking an appropriate balance between state pension age and the size of the state pension; an important consideration was the need to secure intergenerational fairness between pensioners and younger taxpayers; the fact that people live longer is important alongside other demographic and social changes.”

The judges also ruled that EU member states were allowed to discriminate on the basis of sex in determining pensionable age. “There was no direct discrimination on grounds of sex, because this legislation does not treat women less favourably than men in law, rather it equalises a historic asymmetry between men and women and thereby corrects historic direct discrimination against men,” the judgment read.

The claimants also argued that they had not had sufficient notice of the changes and that this was contrary to the requirements of public law. This was rejected by the judges because “the claimants had no legitimate expectation that the government would not alter the state pension age without prior consultation; in any event it was clear that successive governments had engaged in extensive consultation with a wide spread of interested bodies before the legislation was introduced”.

The two judges had to consider both UK and EU law, and the UK’s ratification by Margaret Thatcher of the UN convention for the elimination of discrimination against women (CEDAW), which specifies that women who have been discriminated against must be fully compensated.

Women in their 50s and 60s were hit by the government’s decision under the 1995 Pensions Act to increase the female state pension age from 60 to 65. The change was to be phased in between 2010 and 2020.

The coalition government of 2010 accelerated the timetable. The 2011 Pensions Act brought the new qualifying age of 65 for women forward to 2018. The qualifying age for both men and women will be raised to 66 by October 2020.

BackTo60 argued that women were not given time to adjust to the new retirement age and also that the changes in 2011 and 1995 had not been clearly communicated.

The DWP has been approached for comment.


https://www.theguardian.com/money/20...uelty-contempt
Quote:
Pensions scandal: broken promises, cruelty and contempt
Yvonne Roberts
Yvonne Roberts
Despite the setback in the courts, few would dispute the injustice faced by those 1950s women who have lost six years of benefit
Spoiler:
ast week, in a landmark case, the high court decided that almost four million women born in the 1950s would not be compensated for the money they lost – for some individuals up to £40,000 – when the female pension age was raised from 60 to 66.

Julie Delve, 61, and Karen Glynn, 63, from the campaign group BackTo60, challenged the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) with a judicial review, arguing that raising their pension age “unlawfully discriminated against them on the grounds of age, sex and age and sex combined”. Previously, women could claim a state pension at 60, men at 65 (by 2020 both men and women will receive their pension at 66). Lord Justice Irwin and Mrs Justice Whipple dismissed the claim, saying there was no discrimination as the decision did not treat women less favourably than men but corrected a historic discrimination against men.

This brutal judgment on pensions is blind to the reality of older women’s lives
Polly Toynbee
Polly Toynbee
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The judges are correct – up to a point, Lord Copper. Since the postwar welfare state was established there has been discrimination – but between men, not against them. Between men because it is patently unfair that those who grafted during a time of heavy industry for years have to wait until 66, the same as, say, the bank clerk, who physically has not paid so high a price. At the same time, for women born in the 1950s to receive their pension at 60 is fair recompense for the lives they have lived. As one woman in a documentary made by Backto60 says so spiritedly: “I am a woman. I am different from a man. I’m not inferior. I’m not better. I’m different.” So, in the framework of pensions, how different?

A newspaper ad in the 1950s, has a miniature woman in a frilly pinafore ecstatically dancing on the draining board of a monster kitchen sink apparently beside herself with joy waving a tin of Vim – for those not familiar with the elbow grease school of housework, it’s a scouring powder. “When you tackle the midday meal,” the slogan reads, “There’s a row of happy Vim-trim saucepans ready and waiting!” Women born in the 1950s were reared in an era in which they experienced what feminist historian Sheila Rowbotham calls cultural schizophrenia. The prevailing attitudes were that they were expected to be traditional wives and mothers. At the same time, the huge rise in consumerism pushed the working-class woman into (guilty) employment to “help out” the household budget. Many women had time out of frequently low-paid work to rear children and care for ageing relatives, or didn’t work at all, affecting their national insurance contributions – and they had the added burden of unequal domesticity. If that doesn’t add up to deserving the six years’ pension that they are now denied, what does?

Don’t give tax cuts to the 1% while ignoring those who have contributed all their lives
BackTo60 campaign group member
Government maladministration also played its part. The 1995 Conservative government’s State Pension Act included plans to increase women’s state pension from 60 to 65. The Turner Commission recommended 15 years’ notice – yet, according to the campaign group, Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI), some women were only sent letters a staggering 14 years later. Many have never received letters. Government advertising about pension changes has been dire, patronising and obscure. In 2011, further increases to the female state pension age were brought in faster than the coalition originally promised, again with little or no notice. That’s showing contempt.

Women in the 1950s reared children, they volunteered, they put their own ambition on the back burner and gave freely of their time, earned modestly and paid their taxes. Now, some say, they have a choice – to heat or eat.

Iain Duncan Smith wants us to work until we drop. But we are not machines
Stefan Stern
Stefan Stern
Read more
It’s a terrible irony that too many 1950s women have been catapulted from a past of traditional housewifery to the snapping jaws of today’s welfare state – struggling to beat ageism in fruitlessly applying for a ridiculous number of jobs every day in order to secure the little to which they are entitled on benefits or experiencing for the first time the insecurities of the gig economy and life on a teenager’s salary.

As one member of Backto60 said: “Don’t give tax cuts to the 1% while ignoring those who have contributed all their lives, expecting them at 60 to go out and find an apprenticeship.” Equality is meant to mean equality of opportunity, not equality of injustice.


https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...feminist-issue
Quote:
The Guardian view on women’s pensions: a feminist issue
Editorial
A court ruled against the BackTo60 group last week. But the 1950s-born activists’ fight against injustice goes on
Spoiler:
ome means must be found to ease the hardship faced by the 1950s-born women worst affected by pension age changes. Last week the high court rejected the arguments in a judicial review brought by the campaign group BackTo60. The group argued that changes to the law in 1995 and 2011 were discriminatory on grounds of sex and age, and that 3.8 million women should be compensated. But while last Thursday’s loss was a setback, the campaign is far from over. An appeal is one possibility. Continuing pressure on politicians – including the prime minister, who pledged during his leadership campaign to take a fresh look at the sums – is a certainty.

The principle of pension age equalisation is not contested. Neither the BackTo60 group (despite its name) nor Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) believes that changes to the law should be reversed so that women continue to receive state pensions at a younger age than men. Equalisation has been the work of several governments, with a crucial landmark passed last year when 65-year-old women became the first to qualify at the same age as men.


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But 1950s-born women argue that the pace of change has been too rapid, penalising them as a cohort. In addition, the women and their supporters – who include the former Conservative pensions minister Ros Altmann – believe that not enough was done to inform them of the changes, either when they were brought in or since. The consequence has been that many (no one knows precisely how many) simply did not find out. Those without workplace pensions or private wealth, who expected to be living on their state pensions from the age of 60, are now trapped on working-age benefits with all that entails in terms of the requirement to seek work (campaigners cite cases of women in their 60s being told to apply for apprenticeships).

That this is far from the only injustice of a failing benefits system does not make the Waspi women undeserving. Nor does the protection of pensioner incomes relative to other groups, under the 2011 triple lock, mean that the poverty of younger sixtysomethings is unimportant. On the contrary, the growing gap between working-age and pensioner benefits is one reason why the 1950s-born women are so determined. Another is the prejudice routinely encountered by older jobseekers. A third is that age and poor health, even when these do not amount to disability, restrict what is possible, as do the caring responsibilities routinely and disproportionately shouldered by women.

While the judges rejected BackTo60’s case on grounds that the previous arrangement, under which men were expected to work longer, discriminated against them, the most cursory grasp of sexual politics points to a more complex truth. While pension rules, considered narrowly, may have favoured women, the reasons why they were expected to retire earlier were far from advantageous. Before women’s liberation movements led to legislation such as the 1970 Equal Pay Act, women’s work was regarded as secondary; their domestic and reproductive labour was considered their most important role. Many were expected to stop working when they married. Some who continued were excluded from pension schemes as part-timers.

This is the world that the 1950s-born women grew up in. For ministers, courts or society as a whole to refuse to offer them some form of redress smacks of victim-blaming, while the acceleration of changes in 2011 was only “less controversial” than other cuts – in George Osborne’s phrase – because those affected did not know what was going on. That the law must be changed so that any future changes are properly communicated is one of the more obvious lessons of last week. That the growing gender pension gap should face similar scrutiny to the gender pay gap is another. Given the current huge disparity in retirement incomes, a scheme granting at least some 1950s-born women early access to their state pensions, or means-tested pension credits, is the least that ministers ought to do as soon as possible.


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