WORKOUT Trend to higher pension ages
GOVERNMENTS around the world are raising the official ‘‘ retirement age’’ in line with increasing life expectancy. In Australia by 2014 it will be 65 for both women and men (up from 60 for women and 65 for men).
Raising the age at which people become eligible for an aged pension reduces social security costs for governments. The US has pegged the retirement age at the highest level, at 67-70 (depending on the year of birth). Some European nations — Denmark, Germany and the UK— are moving towards a higher than 65 retirement age.
A Mercer report, analysing data about changes in 47 countries, highlights a gradual increase in retirement ages. Mercer Worldwide partner David Knox believes Australia has a good case to increase it from 65 to 67.
‘‘ It’s now time to tackle the ‘ age 65’, but only with sufficient transition time and a continued safety net,’’ says Tim Jenkins, Mercer’s Asia Pacific Retirement Leader.
‘‘ The latest global report that outlines a global trend towards increasing retirement ages provides the perfect platform to raise the question of ‘ why 65’. The pension age has not been changed in 100 years in Australia, yet our life expectancy is constantly increasing — why aren’t we discussing the validity of 65?’’