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Should the formal retirement age be abolished?

A report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission has today prompted a very controversial and deep thinking argument regarding the UK retirement system. The commission has called on the government to abolish the formal retirement age and indeed introduce incentives for employers to retain those more mature workers and use their experience for as long as possible. But is this something of a double edged sword?

There is no doubt that many older employees are thrown on the scrapheap far too early and their experience can be sorely missed in industry. However, we also have the problem of school leavers, college leavers and university graduates who may well be deprived of potential employment openings if the retirement age is abolished.

While some may argue that the UK economy, in line with the UK population, is set to show significant growth in the medium to longer term, will this be enough to support employing those from the older generation and the younger generation at the same time?

In all honesty there needs to be a full and frank discussion and review of the UK pension system and the retirement laws to ensure that those who want to work into later life have the opportunity while those attempting to climb onto the employment ladder are also given a chance. Finding a balance between these two potential problems will the tricky to say the least!

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