The Big Question

Karen Shook – Disability equality adviser
People should have a choice about when they retire and not be penalised if they want to retire at 65. There could also be fewer jobs available for the younger workforce if people retire later. People should not have to deal with governments’ failure to look after the “welfare state” and the people who depend on it.

Jean Stogdon – Grandparents Plus
If you’re working class, having spent your life doing physical work, surely you should have 15 to 20 years of state pension to look forward to. Yet they are the poorest, likely to suffer more ill-health and a lower life expectancy than the wealthy. But, if on average we’re all living years longer, there’s bound to be pressure to increase the pension age.

Len Smith – Gypsy activist
I agree with raising the retirement age. Physically, people are “younger” at 65 than they were when the age was introduced and expected lifespans are greater. The argument that a longer working life should fund retirement is logical. If someone can show that they have made private provision that exceeds a “baseline” figure, they should be able to opt out.

Angie Lawrence – Single mother
It makes sense to extend the retirement age – life expectancy has increased due to better health services and people’s increased awareness of health- damaging activities, such as smoking. The government needs to think more seriously about the pension system if it is to avoid creating a very high number of pensioners living in poverty.

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