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Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing

MICRA experts comment in The Guardian series on work and retirement

6 February 2017

MICRA Director Professor Debora Price and Professor Chris Phillipson feature in a nine-part series in The Guardian on the impact of ageing Britain on work, retirement and wellbeing.

Commenting on working past retirement age, Professor Price flags that working past retirement may not be a good thing for all people: “There is evidence to suggest that opportunities for people to work beyond State Pension Age might well be making inequalities worse.” She argues  rising pension ages mean  middle-income and wealthy groups are ‘cross-subsidised’ from the poor who have a lower life expectancy, and highlights the insecurity that older workers face in the period from later-50’s to early-70’s.

In an article on flexible retirement, Prof Phillipson argues that the idea of retirement as a financially secure stage of life is relatively recent, as pensioner poverty has improved only since the 70s, when the value of the state pension increased and some older men were able to benefit from occupational pensions. Chris suggests that a rising state pension age means that some people will die before the state retirement age. When combined with inadequate personal pensions and savings, this means there is a risk that retirement is restricted for some groups, a source of inequality in the UK. 

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