Retirement age should be abolished: UK rights group

Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:23am EST
 
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - People should be allowed to work beyond the current retirement age and working times should be more flexible, a report by Britain's Equality and Human Rights Commission said on Monday.

The Commission said the default retirement age - currently 65 for a man and 60 for a woman in Britain -- was outdated and abolishing it would inject 15 billion pounds ($24.2 billion) into the British economy.

According to a survey, 24 percent of men and 64 percent of women planned to work beyond the pension age. Most older people did not want to slow down and instead wanted job promotions, it found.

However the report found that outdated working practices often forced workers into retirement early, and that allowing more flexible working hours and conditions would address this.

"Radical change is what older Britons are telling us needs to happen for them to stay in the workforce," said Baroness Margaret Prosser, the Commission's deputy chairman.

"Britain has experienced a skills exodus during the recession and as the economy recovers, we face a very real threat of not having enough workers -- a problem that is further exacerbated by the skills lost by many older workers being forced to retire at 65."

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison and Paul Casciato)