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To feel sorry for women having to work till they're 66

364 replies

lazylab · 01/07/2017 11:11

I have 2 friends, one 60 the other 61 who are just so tired and worn out. The 60 year old works full time in a factory, she's totally shatttered at the end of her shift. Basically they're just desperate for retirement, but no chance of that till they're 66. Both these women are single, still paying mortgages, one of them earning fairly good money but the other is basically working just to live, can't afford luxuries or holidays etc. It's just soul destroying. These are just two examples of the plight of those affected by the changes to pension age.

Working full time as a young woman is definitely not the same once you hit 60, the body struggles to cope. I realise it's the same for men too, especially the ones doing physical jobs.
Sorry if it sounds like i'm moaning, but isn't life just shit for some people. Sad

OP posts:
MajorasMask · 01/07/2017 14:07

My mum is only 51 and had to take ill health retirement. She developed a neurological problem and chronic pain from her job as a postwoman for 14 years. Now she is better and she has to start looking at work again for her rent (plus she is bored!) but so many places have turned her down. She can't do the physical work she once did but wants to go back into retail. Then people get funny about her needing part time work due to her condition and offer contracts where you're obligated to work a full week if asked with only half guaranteed hours. She volunteers but even unpaid positions are difficult to find.

Me otoh - I'm 25 and doing fine in office work, don't expect the state pension to be there at all. I have the option of a private one but right now I can't really afford to put the money aside, but I know it's a bloody good offer (public sector) and I have to sort it out sooner rather than later. To be honest I feel like my mum gets the worse deal, she didn't know how much retirement age would increase and she's done a lot of physical work, most posties she worked with are knackered but have to carry on.

deugain · 01/07/2017 14:07

Both these women are single, still paying mortgages, one of them earning fairly good money but the other is basically working just to live, can't afford luxuries or holidays etc

On plus side they won't have to fund increasing rent from fixed pensions - or keep working so they keep a roof over their heads.

I think as so many now can't afford to buy at all this will be an increasing issue.

StillDrivingMeBonkers · 01/07/2017 14:10

But correct me if i'm wrong but surely making people work till 66 and beyond will make jobs for young people and school leavers few and far between

We are an aging population. Retirees now outnumber sub 16yer olds. The biggest demographic is my age group - the 50-somethings - 1 in 3 of my age group will to be 100+. we are far fitter and healthier than ever before. Do you really think it fair the burden of paying pensions for 40 years (60-100) should fall on the subsequent generations.

And before someone comes out with the line "we paid into it, t'is ours", you need to remember the day the Welfare State was created it started paying out. Todays tax payers pay for todays pensions - there is no collecting your own little pot of gold.

sheephead · 01/07/2017 14:10

It's hard, especially for women (and men) who have worked in manual jobs or have specific health issues. My neighbours were fortunate in being able to stop work in their late 50s/early 60s, and go on pension credit. The eligibility was only based on the man's age of 63. But they only had one income for a long time (the man couldn't work due to health issues, and the woman worked in a shop), and after getting a benefits check they found out that their overall income would work out the same on pension credit as it was with one person working, because all their council tax and prescriptions were paid. So the woman stopped work and they have effectively retired because the pension credit rules allowed them to. Apparently they are changing the rules so that isn't possible any more, and the DWP have increased the minimum age.

ImNotWhoYouThinkIAmOhNo · 01/07/2017 14:10

The unfair aspect was not the change itself but the short time in which major changes happened, giving some women no time to adjust their financial planning. My DSIL died recently at 63 and hadn't seen a penny of her pension. My FIL and MIL have both been enjoying pensions for over 30 years (34 for FIL). Is it any wonder some women are angry?

DJBaggySmalls · 01/07/2017 14:13

'suck it up, you wanted equality now you got it' is exactly the kind of attitude that got us into this mess.
People shouldn't be expected to work til they drop dead. Capitalism is a shit system.

Lweji · 01/07/2017 14:17

Surely it's one in one out?

Not strictly. People at work also generate jobs.

Lweji · 01/07/2017 14:18

People shouldn't be expected to work til they drop dead. Capitalism is a shit system.

The main current problem is longer life expectancy and low birth rates.

BrexitSucks · 01/07/2017 14:21

What system would be better? Someone has to grow the food & provide the health care & rubbish collection & so on. People should do what they can to contribute. Healthy seniors may even choose to work long past standard retirement age.

RebelandaStunner · 01/07/2017 14:24

We will retire at 55 but still carry on with our business which is part time. I'm glad I went back to work a year after having DC's even if it was part time as we used most of my wage to save and invest.
Between me and DH we will get reasonable pensions. Some of my age, late 40's, who decided to be sahp have barely any pensions and are now looking for jobs when we have retirement in sight.
Those in their 20's and 30's should still have time to plan.
Idealist maybe but I think part time jobs should be available to over 55's working full time.

SummerKelly · 01/07/2017 14:27

To be fair the whole distribution of work thing is pretty crap. A recent study found 37% of people think their job is meaningless, lots of jobs are environmentally damaging, many people can't make ends meet whilst working more than full time, we don't have time for caring or community activities, work makes people sick, and we overcompensate by buying stuff we don't need and have to work even harder. And now we can't afford to retire either. It all needs rethinking.

HazelBite · 01/07/2017 14:32

I stopped work recently at just over 65 not because the work was physically taxing but the commuting was. I was getting up at 4.30-5.00am every day to get a train into London that wasn't too crowded. I wouldn't get home until 7.00pm. It was an very, very long day, then once home having to cook for a family (adult Dc's still at home) it was all too much.
however DH is 61, is a builder, a very physical job, will not get his state pension until he is 67. Despite paying into various private pension schemes since he was 17, will get a paltry sum from them. He would have been better putting the (quite substantial amounts) he paid into these pension funds every month into a building society account.

I gave up my career in the early 1980's to raise my children after the cost of childcare exceeded my income! It was the norm then and despite people complaining about the cost of childcare now, it was proportionally a lot higher then, with no assisted nursery places. I don't think the government wanted Mothers working as it wasn't easy and the maternity leave entitlement was a lot smaller.

Going back to work full time when the youngest went to secondary school means that I have a occupational pension of just over 6 grand a year (for 23 years full time service).

There are many women of my generation who are having to work longer and longer, either to make pension contributions, or just afford to live.

We all gave up work to bring up our families, many companies in fact would not take women "back" after maternity leave.
Whichever government is in power in a few years time is going to have a huge benefits bill of single female pensioners unable to afford to live.

ilovechocolates · 01/07/2017 14:39

In my industry sector (NHS) there are far too many jobs and not enough people to fill them. The vacancies are mostly in qualified posts (AHPs, nurses etc) not in unqualified posts like HCAs.

So increasing the retirement age does not mean a loss of a job for someone coming from school/college/uni. This is partly due to people loving longer, and those with long-term conditions

mummymeister · 01/07/2017 14:48

When the 1946 act came in the average life expectancy of a man was 64.1 and for a woman it was 68.7. this is why the pension age was set at 65 for men because it was just above the average life expectancy.

the intention was always to raise the age incrementally every few years to keep up with the population living longer. successive governments didn't do this and now we are in the mess that we are in where someone can retire in their 60's and easily live for another 25 years.

its not fair if you compare it to people in the 1980's and 1990's retiring whilst still fit and young but it is fair if you look at the original intentions of what the pension was supposed to do and achieve.

sorry but I think that the working age has to go up even further and yes that will mean some people going into part time or doing different sorts of jobs.

we just cant afford to have people retired for longer than they have worked.

DrunkOnEther · 01/07/2017 14:58

I'm 31, and seriously doubt I'll ever be able to retire. I think the pension age will keep sliding gradually upwards. I have chronic health conditions, which will only get worse as I get older - I am not looking forward to my 60s and 70s at all, assuming I even make it that far.

And as for saving up and paying into private pensions - with what money?! I rent as I can't afford to buy (and ironically mortgage payments would be less than my rent, but I can't afford a deposit.) The cost of living is such that I just don't have the spare money to save.

motheroftwoboys · 01/07/2017 14:59

From the other side of the coin. I am 60 and enjoy my job and I am lucky enough to still be fit and healthy. I wouldn't want to retire now - even if I could and the longer I can put off retirement the better. Not looking forward to living on what will be a lesser income than now. I also agree that male and female retirement age should be the same.

mummymeister · 01/07/2017 15:01

i think the retirement age should be linked to average life span as it was originally intended in which case women should retire later.

LakieLady · 01/07/2017 15:09

Lucisky, I'm the same age as you.

When I was in my late 30s, I started developing health problems that made my (well paid, public sector) job more and more difficult. At 45, I decided to switch to a less-well paid job that didn't involve sitting at a desk all day, thinking I'd be able to manage for another 15 years. This meant that my occupational pension is a fraction of what it would have been had I stayed.

If I'd known then that I'd have to work another 21 years before getting my state pension, I'd have hung on, possibly paid some AVCs, and probably got an early retirement on medical grounds, with an enhanced pension. This would probably have been enough for me to top up by working very part-time, or by moving to a cheaper area and releasing some of the equity in my house. At 50, it was far too late for me to make alternative pension arrangements, especially as I was in a relatively low-paid job by then.

I'm now stuck working for another 4 years. I feel shattered most of the time and am in constant pain. I'm going to reduce my working hours to about 24 pw, which will mean I have very little spare money, but it's the only way I can last another 4 years.

I'm very bitter about it, especially when I consider that at current rates, various governments have done me out of around £50k.

I accept the need for equalisation and fully understand the need to increase pension ages across the board, but I think there should have been a much longer lead time to give women time to make their own provision for better private or occupational pensions, but I think women of my age have been well and truly shafted.

And I've paid SERPS/S2P for quite a bit of my working life, in the belief that I would get a bigger state pension. Now I'll just get the same as anyone else with 35 years of NI contributions. They've basically done a Maxwell with my money.

Ch33s3cake1 · 01/07/2017 15:36

Looking back with hindsight, I am glad that I started paying from a young age into a work pension and that my employer has added extra contributions. This will hopefully be on top of my state pension
As we are all living longer, that is why Government has introduced auto enrolement into pensions

(There are other ways to invest eg savings, ISA, property, business)

In UK there is no compulsory retirement age. This means that when you reach state pension age or what your companies terms and conditions state, you can ask to continue to work. The company may say that they cannot accomodate you. However I know people who have worked longer than 65

I believe that if you defer to take your state pension at 65-68+ the Government pays a little extra

With people living longer I anticipate that people will have several careers. In later years perhaps part time or non physical jobs eg computer based jobs, so many will be working 65+

If you look on a world wide scale, countries that have no pension People are looked after by their families or they work into their very old age

Do I feel sorry for people who are working in their 60s ? No

I would feel sorry for people who are NOT working in their 60s, perhaps due to illness because 60 is relatively young now

OP have you crunched the numbers to see how much you actually need to live on to retire ?

I anticipate that the state retirement age will keep increasing

Lucisky · 01/07/2017 15:39

Lakielady - yes, I have quite a bit of serps as well. I last got a quote for my state pension about 10 years ago, and they added quite a bit. It is totally unclear whether we will benefit from these now, although I have tried to find out. You are right, we have been shafted. Also, to people who say "oh, it's okay for you baby boomers...", they often appear to think working life and housing was a bed of roses in the 70s. Well, it wasn't. Income tax was much higher than now, as was national insurance in relative terms. The interest on my first mortgage was around 11%, and food and household goods were much more expensive relatively than they are today. I was always flat broke. The cost of housing today is appalling, I know, and I don't envy people trying to get on the housing ladder. I don't know what the answer is - that would be a whole new thread!

missmartha · 01/07/2017 15:52

In my profession, architecture, it's very usual for people to work until they are well into their 70s and sometimes beyond.

It's all about the pleasure they get from their work. I don't find that odd at all.

sparechange · 01/07/2017 15:53

People shouldn't be expected to work til they drop dead. Capitalism is a shit system

This is just hysterical nonsense

The new retirement age gives the average person twenty years post retirement

Look at how long people lived after retirement 40 years ago and then tell us which system wanted people 'working until they dropped dead'

mummymeister · 01/07/2017 16:02

I put the figures upthread sparechange. when you realise that 65 was set as it was the average life span and that now the average for a man is 79 and for woman 82. so on that basis if the act had kept pace with the changes retirement age would be 79 and 82.

DrunkOnEther · 01/07/2017 16:14

The thing is, people are living longer, but I'm not sure the quality of life in those latter years is all that good.
So whereas my grandma retired at 60, and had 10 years of good health before declining, people retiring at 70 are not necessarily going to have that. They might live until 75, but they likely will not be in as good health.

And that's before you get into health and life expectancy being linked to socioeconomic status and the ability of some people being able to afford to have private pensions, enabling them to retire earlier.

Additionally, if you've worked for 40 years to build up a career in your field, is it not then a bit of a slap in the face to then have to take on a lesser role, with lesser pay?

mummymeister · 01/07/2017 16:27

We cannot afford to have huge numbers of people living for 25 or 30 years after they retire. peoples expectations need to change and so does the way that we work.

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