Belfast Telegraph

Business View: Harsh reality of retirement

By Margaret Canning

Invitations are flooding in for carol services over the next few weeks. Many people like the more popular end of the Christmas carol canon, such as When a Child is Born, made famous by Johnny Mathis.

When a child is born this week or next, they are unlikely to be able to retire until the grand old age of 77.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne outlined the harsh new reality of retirement age during the Autumn Statement yesterday, to predictable dismay. He said growing life expectancy is hastening the change, with the result that retirement age will be managed so that no-one spends longer than one-third of their lives between golf course, garden centre and grandchildren.

The idea that a baby born this month will work until 77 conjures up an image of staffrooms packed with Zimmer frames and desks crammed with photos of adorable great-grandchildren.

The prospect of a career spanning over half a century could also mean them taking a portfolio approach to their careers, constantly retraining and refreshing their knowledge.

That will require high-quality jobs to choose from, and while yesterday's abolition of employer National Insurance contributions for under-21s will make youths cheaper, it doesn't mean there will be more or better jobs for them to do.

Belfast Telegraph