Working to 70 still will not bridge pension gap

21 June 2004
Proposals to allow people to work until they're 70-years-old should not be used to "plug holes" in the pensions system, the Liberal Democrats have urged.

The government is said to be considering plans to alter the statutory retirement age to let people stay in full time work after the age 65.

While the plans have been given a cautious welcome, the Liberal Democrats have urged ministers not to see such a move as a means of fixing the pensions crisis.

"These plans must not be used by companies as a back-door way of filling holes in their pension schemes," said work and pensions spokesman, Steve Webb. "Flexibility is the key to managing retirement and workers should have the opportunity to carry on working after
they reach 65 if they want to."

"Moves to end age discrimination are a good thing and long overdue. It is outrageous that for years older workers have been discriminated against purely because of their age."

A rally in London at the weekend urged the government and employers to take action to avoid leaving thousands of people in poverty after they retire.

Meanwhile, research from the ESRC out today warned that a worrying number of people are not preparing for their old age and are under-estimating the length of their retirement.