04/01/2011 - Pension age to be raised?

“SOLIDARITY will oppose any attempt to raise the state pension age.”  That was the message from Solidarity Trade Union National Executive member David Durant.  


Mr. Durant was commenting on the news that the Institute of Directors – IoD – wants the state pension age to rise to 70.


Late last year the IoD issued a report, Roadmap For Retirement Reform, which declared that the rise was necessary on the basis of "affordability" and "greatly increased" longevity.


Mr. Durant claimed that the IoD was promoting the views of the bosses and political class.  “They just want people to work until they drop.”

He also highlighted out the differences between ordinary workers and members of the Institute of Directors.


“When ordinary workers retire many have to rely on their state pension.  This is becoming more and more inadequate.  They – and their families – are increasingly have to pay for basic social services.  It’s often said that the main dilemma for pensioners is to heat or eat".


“Contrast this with those members of the IoD.  They have to survive on a platinum-plated pension of around £250,000 - commonly available from the age of 60."


Mr. Durant also thought it ironic that anyone should want to raise the state pension age when youth unemployment is spiraling out of control.


“The middle of last November saw a record number of young people without a job.  Nearly one in five 16 to 24-year-olds are claiming Jobseeker's Allowance. 


“Instead of forcing people to work on, maybe we should be looking at bringing the retirement age down even further.  How many jobs would this free up for our youngsters?"


“We need to replace this crazy situation where we have millions of youngsters on the scrapheap - while others are being told that they need to work until they drop!  Why not let workers retire earlier – and pay them an adequate pension – so that we can combat this chronic youth unemployment?”