Re­tire­ment age rise is wel­comed

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By TARA DUN­DON

PLANS to raise the state pen­sion age has been wel­comed by res­i­dents in the city who are ap­proach­ing re­tire­ment.

The govern­ment has an­nounced plans to raise the age at which peo­ple are el­i­gi­ble to draw the state pen­sion from 65 to 66 by 2016 in a bid to help ease the bud­get deficit.

The state pen­sion age for women is al­ready be­ing raised to 65 and the De­fault Re­tire­ment Age (DRA) which al­lows em­ploy­ers to force em­ploy­ees to re­tire when they reach the state pen­sion age, is be­ing phased out.

In Peter­bor­ough, 14.2 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion are over 65, of which 12.7 per cent are in em­ploy­ment. How­ever, this fig­ure is set to rise to 18.7 per cent in 2030.

Peter­bor­ough’s Poppy Ap­peal or­gan­iser, Ge­orge Ben­nett (58) of Sev­ern Close, Pas­ton, Peter­bor­ough, wel­comes the de­ci­sion.

He said: “It is a good idea. There are a lot of peo­ple who are aged 64 or 65. They are good at their jobs and they are not ready to re­tire.

“Just be­cause you get to 65, it doesn’t mean you are in­ca­pable any more.

“I be­lieve you have got to keep your­self go­ing or you veg­e­tate.

“Be­ing stuck at home day in, day out is what gen­er­ally fin­ishes peo­ple off.

“I can’t work be­cause of in­juries to my neck and back, but I do vol­un­tary work for St Theresa’s and the Poppy Ap­peal, and I in­tend to keep on go­ing for as long as I can.”

How­ever, Stephen Jones (56), of Aster Drive, in Wer­ring­ton, said the de­ci­sion is “dis­grace­ful” and he has now lost all faith in pol­i­tics.

Mr Jones, who is out of work at the moment af­ter re­cov­er­ing from a kid­ney trans­plant, said: “I am quite an­noyed that the Govern­ment has de­cided to raise the re­tire­ment age.

“By 2016 I will be 62 so I would have only had three years to go, but now I will have four.

“A lot of peo­ple won’t even take you on be­cause you are old.

“They say the av­er­age age of a man is 77, so if you have to re­tire when you are 66, then it doesn’t leave you much time when you are fit and well to en­joy your re­tire­ment.”

Doreen Clark (74), of Stil­ton, near Peter­bor­ough, who re­tired when she was three weeks short of her 60th birth­day, said: “If you are in good health, then I don’t think it should make a dif­fer­ence.

“I had to re­tire early to look af­ter my hus­band, oth­er­wise I ex­pect I would have kept go­ing.”

Part time health vis­i­tor Paddy Je­len (60), of Mar­ket Deep­ing said she has no in­ten­tions of re­tir­ing just yet and wel­comed the de­ci­sion to move the re­tire­ment age to 65 for women.

She said: “We are liv­ing longer and so we should be work­ing longer.”

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