Today we are asked if we should abolish the fixed age of retirement. The answer is “Yes” and “No”.
The answer is “Yes”, because people should not be made to retire at a fixed age against their wishes. If they and their employers want to carry on with the contract, or if they wish to carry on and they did not sign a limited life contract, they should be free to do so. When I advised on pensions policy in the 1980s I proposed a flexible “decade of retirement” (from 60 to 70 in those days- it would now be from say 63 to 73 given greater longevity) so both men and women could chose.
The answer is “No” when it comes to the terms of the State retirement pension scheme and public sector pension schemes. A pension scheme needs to have a stated age from which the pension will be paid. This can be the default or average age, with increases in pension if you work and contribute longer, or reductions in pension if you retire earlier.
Given the state of the public finances we need to raise the retirement age for pensions purposes. Those wanting to contribute for less time should receive smaller pensions.