Working themselves to death

16 June 2004
If the government increases the retirement age to 70, one in four people, and nearly one in three men, in Wales will die before they get a pension.

This is according to new TUC research, which shows a rises to almost a half of all men are living in the most deprived areas of Wales.

Currently 16.3 per cent of the population die before they reach 65, and 24 per cent die before they turn 70. This means that one in four would not get a pension if the qualifying age gets raised to 70.

As for men, one in five in Wales die before they are 65, rising to nearly one in three who die before their 70th birthday.

Wales TUC general secretary, Felicity Williams, said: "Many commentators tell us that we can solve the pensions crisis if we all work longer before we retire. But these figures show that many will have to work until they literally drop if the retirement age goes up to 70."

Ms Williams was scathing in her attack on the decision makers: "I suspect many of those who say we should all work longer have good jobs behind desks and their own substantial pension savings."

"It is simply not an option for many manual workers to carry on working until they are 70. They will either die or be forced on to benefits before they can claim their rightful pension."

The TUC is organising a national demonstration in London on June 19th. It hopes to highlight the problems that currently exist surrounding pensions and calls for a new and fair pensions settlement.