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Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing

'Work 'Til You Drop'

26 October 2017

MICRAs Debbie Price speaks on the ageing workforce on ITV Tonight feature 'Work 'Til You Drop'.

On Thursday 19 October, the ITV Tonight programme broadcast a feature on the increasing numbers of older people who are at work and the implications of an ever increasing retirement age. Professor Debbie Price, Director of MICRA shared her insight on these issues.

Photograph of Professor Debbie Price.

Debbie states "There is no doubt that work and retirement are in a state of flux, but we need to be very concerned at new inequalities that we are witnessing around this.  The ability to find good quality work that is life-enhancing is not available to everyone; the ability to live comfortably without needing to work is also not available to everyone.  Both of these things are more available to those who are already more privileged.  We have real concerns that extending working life is exacerbating these kinds of inequalities and this is a bad thing for society, and for those who have fewer advantages and fewer choices."

The reporter examines different perspectives of older people at work and seeking work, from those who feel working beyond retirement age enhances their independence, to those who struggle to find work and then those who are too physically frail, or not healthy enough to work.

Also addressed is how financially ill prepared many in the UK are for retirement. Which is a serious cause for concern as Debbie points out:  "Retirement – the ability to retire from paid work and enjoy a period of leisure before death – is one of the greatest achievements of the twentieth century. We really do not want to go back to an era of fear, where you worked until you dropped.  Retirement is an institution worth protecting, and we must especially ensure that it is available to all, especially those who need it most."

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