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Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing

2015 MICRA annual public lecture - Extending working life: Prospects and challenges

Tuesday 12 May 2015


  • James Banks, Professor of Economics, University of Manchester and Deputy Research Director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies

The 2015 MICRA annual public lecture addressed a major area of debate in current social and economic policy. Extending working life is a now a key element in policies aimed at managing some of the pressures associated with ageing societies. In the UK, the target is to increase the average age of retirement by 6 months every year. State pension ages (SPA) are being raised: from 2020 both men and women’s state pension age will be 66, increasing to 67 between 2026 and 2028.  Professor James Banks considered some of the demographic and economic drivers behind this policy, examining issues such as the changing likelihood of work at older ages, the effect of pension incentives on exit from work, and links between health and work.

Professor Banks is one of the UK’s leading experts on work and retirement issues. He came to Manchester in 2010 as Professor of Economics retaining a half-time appointment at the Institute of Fiscal Studies as Deputy Research Director and Co-Director of the ESRC Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy. He is Co-Principal Investigator of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, a member of the UK Government Pensions Statistics Advisory Group, and a member of the Lead Expert Group Government Office for Science Group on Analysing the Challenges and Opportunities of an Ageing Society.

Watch Professor Banks deliver the lecture