To Work Longer or Die Younger

After the official opening on 18 – 19 January 2012 in Copenhagen (Denmark), the 7th of March the events and measures were launched for the 2012: European Year for Active Ageing … and Solidarity between Generations in the buildings of the  Résidence Palace in Brussels. Around the same time the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy and Danish Prime Minister Ms Helle Thorning-Schmidt – for the Presidency of the Council – met at the Tripartite Social Summit with European workers’ and employers’ representatives.

Herman Van Rompuy, Dmitry Medvedev and José Manuel Barroso in Brussels (2010-12-07) - 1

Herman Van Rompuy, Dmitry Medvedev and José Manuel Barroso in Brussels (2010-12-07)

The Summit focused, in particular, on the social partners’ key role in EU governance and their important contribution to restoring jobs and growth.

Enda Kenny, the Prime Minister of Ireland, Sotiroula Charalambous, the Cypriot Minister of Labour and László Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion also contributed to the debate.

The European social partners (ETUC, BUSINESSEUROPE, CEEP and UEAPME) agreed on the need for an urgent focus on growth and jobs and strong investments to support recovery. They presented their joint work programme for 2012-2014, which includes, among others, a joint work on youth employment and an in-depth employment analysis of the issue, life long learning and the economic and social governance of the EU. They also called for their active involvement in the implementation of national reform plans and in EU governance as a whole.

The European Foundation Centre (EFC) has joined a growing coalition of stakeholders in signing a manifesto to promote an age-friendly European Union presenting the decalogue of an age-friendly society and including a number of recommendations to the EU and stakeholders at national and local level to achieve an age-friendly European Union by 2020.

The aim of the European Union is that 2012 should raise awareness, stimulate debate and have a real impact on lifestyles.  These points are set out in a draft report on a Commission proposal for a European Year for Active Ageing (2012) adopted by the Employment Committee.

The European Year would seek to foster a sustainable active ageing culture.  While strongly backing the basic idea of such a year, the committee also wants it to embrace the notion of intergenerational solidarity, by changing the title to European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations.

National, regional and local authorities as well as social partners, businesses and civil society should promote “active ageing” and do more to boost the potential of the rapidly growing population in their late 50s and above, say MEPs. Conferences and events, information campaigns and exchange of information and best practice would be among the tools used.

Pollecoff's Department Store, High Street - - 678195

For how long can you make a family business going? - Pollecoff's Department Store, High Street The Pollecoffs were one of a number of families of Eastern European Jews which established thriving businesses in the market towns of North Wales.

MEPs believe more should be done to enable elderly people to realise their potential for wellbeing and participate in society, while providing them with adequate protection, security and care when they need it. “Active ageing” means better education and lifelong learning, age-friendly working conditions, and supporting the role of older people in family life and society as a whole.

Europeans today are leading longer and healthier lives than ever before, but society faces a number of challenges as a result. Demographic projections by Eurostat indicate a decline of about 6.8% (20.8 million) in the number of people of working age by 2030. Two people of working age (15-64) will thus be needed to support one retired person (over 65), compared to a ratio of four to one today.

This may increase pressure on public budgets and pension systems, as well as on social and care provision for older people. In addition, old age is often associated with illness and dependence, and older people can feel excluded from employment as well as from family and society.

Many countries do have to face the bad financial state of their political system. Many states and large financial institutions are poorly managed. Every day more and more is demanded from the workers, who sometimes live already on the edge of their possibilities. People are afraid to see the daylight and are getting nervous about the further days to come, especially the old age. The global financial system remains dangerously interconnected and sensitive to light.

  Pension Debt Financial Debt Total Debt Taxes Disp.Income Public Debt
  % GDP (1) % GDP (2) % GDP % GDP (3) % GDP  % Disp.Income
France 362,2 92,5 454,7 46,7 53,3 853,4
Italy 323,1 127,0 450,1 45,8 54,2 830,1
Austria 359,9 77,9 437,8 47,2 52,8 829,3
Belgium         296,0 (1)  
105,2 401,2 48,4 51,6 778,1
Finland 301,4 52,3 353,7 53,6 46,4 762,0
Germany 338,6 82,0 420,6 43,1 56,9 739,5
Sweden 284,5 55,2 339,7 52,9 47,1 721,8
Portugal 298,3 90,9 389,2 43,5 56,5 689,0
Poland 361,1 62,8 423,9 36,2 63,8 664,3
Hungary 257,5 89,9 347,4 46,2 53,8 646,2
Greece 230,7 123,3 354,0 40,1 59,9 590,8
Netherlands 236,2 77,1 313,3 45,7 54,3 577,3
Spain 204,2 67,5 271,7 38,8 61,2 443,8
Czech Rep 201,4 53,1 254,5 40,2 59,8 425,9
Slovakia 210,5 43,0 253,5 32,6 67,4 376,0
UK 91,2 83,1 174,3 40,1 59,9 290,8

(1) ECB page 84 (Belgium: Estimates ABN AMRO 2003)
(2) OECD Tab Gross Financial Liabilities
(3) OECD Tab Tax Receipts

Too many people are getting to old, many consumers aren’t  consuming enough and not borrowing. Once dozy financial regulators are rubbing the sleep out of many people their eyes. Since ages human race has had the privileged to grow. But every now and then the haughtiness brought down the  haughty. The arrogant powers who only had the growth of their state in front of them, were pulled down from their pedestal. Many governments were knocked off their perch in the past. Aztec, Byzantine, Greek, Roman, Mongol cultures, is Europe to come next?

Today those born in and juster after World War II could enjoy the Golden Sixties and could find themselves reduced by the society, put at the sideways because too old or too overqualified. But for those born in the Golden Sixties often they are confronted with the over qualification term as well and also being found too old. Though still good enough to be able to work they often do not find enough opportunities to come to satisfaction.

In several countries we see exactly the same happening. Everywhere there come to many retired and not working people opposite those who can bring in labour-force and money. Ministers in many countries are already pushing controversial changes through parliament to raise the age at which women at 60 and men at 65, can claim a pension to 65 or 67 until even 68 by 2020. When the retirement age could rise to 67 many forget that not everybody shall be capable to work full-time until that age.  Naturally the savings in the pay-out bureaus would be in the way the retirement shall be reimbursed. When people would go on part-time jobs from their fifty-fives  (3/4, 1/2, 1/4) the saving would be coming from only having to hand out a retirement fee of 3/4, a 1/2, or only 1/4 of the retirement fee, though people previously paid the full charge from their full-time income for many years, but only the last five years would be taken into account with the amount of years worked and transposed in 45 years of duty. As such somebody who worked 30 years full time and seven years half time would only receive (100x37x0.5):(45)=41% of the full retirement allowance. You can imagine that the government is going to save a lot of money but lots of people are going to have an income much below the point to be able to survive in this capitalist world. Today in Belgium it is already impossible to survive with the average  925€ or retirement, being one of the lowest in Europe. (With 1200€ for a retirement home the average cost is already over the budget income)

For some, like the UK  pensions minister Steve Webb,  the timescales for 67 in 2020 or 2036  and 68 by 2040 or 2046 are too slow. For Great Britain the raising of the state pension age to 67 in 2026, would be the most likely option according to Whitehall sources. It would affect 8.1 million people in their 40s who would otherwise have expected to retire at 66.

File:Handicapped.svgIn the Netherlands they looked ahead and in 1913 a legal form of social security was provided for those reaching the 70th birthday.  It was the so-called “Invaliditeitswet” or Handicapped Law.  Then you were considered as an invalid at the age of 70 because that was exceptional and most of them who reached that age were not so good on their legs or in their brains any more.

The smart Dutch northerners created in 1952 the so-called “Pensioen- en Spaarfondsenwet” a Pension and Saving-fund law.  The Law provided that men could pay themselves an annual premium to foresee after their 65th birthday an amusing pension.  In 1957, there was then a bigger break in the legislation.  The AOW ( a basic retirement allowance) was imported under the cabinet of Willem Drees.  Willem Drees was at that time already known from importing the Noodwet Ouderdomsvoorziening (a Provision for the old age) in 1947.

Before 1957 there were not exactly possibilities to retire with an amusing sum.  At that time mostly people went to work from 12 until they died.  Even for my parents there was no time to be ill. Ill people had no income and could not buy enough food and medication.  Consequence was that they died before getting old.  The working conditions then, in comparison with now were quite different.  The social circumstances were worse than now. Hygiene was far to seek in many households and lots of people had to work long hours from early in the mourning until late at night.The industrial revolution did not so much good to the work conditions compared with the so called Dark Ages, where people in a certain way lived better. In the Middle Ages they had in a way a certain liberty and family life of which later generations became deprived off.

WLANL - Quistnix! - Maritiem Museum - aandelen

Shares of the Stoomvaartmaatschappij - Aandeel van de KRL, Rotterdam Maritiem Museum - Photo: Quistnix!

In the Golden Sixties everything seemed to become better and in the seventies major social reforms brought mitigation. When in the eighties the Law Cooreman De Cleck  (1982) made it possible to have a tax reduction by taking in some shares, it also contributed to the factories who could find cheaper money and for the people who could find a way to save more for later.

For those working in the theatre, not yet having a pension scheme, shares, saving banks and live insurances were the only and best solution, to make sure there would be a nest egg.

When pension schemes got introduced the governments did not prepare themselves for later and did not build up some comfortable reserve.
Successive governments over the decades were so behind the curve behind the population getting older. They did not take care to build up a reserve and paid the retired people from the money that came in  from the tax payers. But by a diminishing population which got older more and more, we came to a situation that there became more non-workers than workers.

Everybody knows we are living longer. But when there is going to be less savings, who is going to cover for the years after people stopped working. So the best would be if we could be working as long as possible. No doubt. But the quality of the work should stay healthy, and people should be able to find and do work according to their age and medical condition.

My parents died in 2004 when they were 89, and I would love it to hold it out even longer. But what are the conditions going to be?

Everybody is able to live longer than their previous generation, but for the first time in history we can say that the living quality is not going to become better.

While I could have a descent job (also working on Saturdays and Sundays, day and night time,  but not with the pressure like the youngster have today) and had the luxury always to do the job I loved to do (in the entertainment business), while my wife took care of the household, the younger generation has to work with two to keep up a comfortable way of living. Rents are so high, the income of one job would not be sufficient to have enough left over to buy food. When the boom children worked they could put something aside for later years. But the working generation today has more problems with that.

The move to quicken the pace of changes to the retirement age follows the recent decision by the Netherlands to raise its pension age to 67 in 2025. According to Department for Work and Pensions figures, the move, if repeated in the UK, would save a total of £59.3bn, money which the government could use to help the women most severely affected by the recent and swift rise in the age of eligibility for a pension. For Belgium no accurate figures are available yet. In this country the government was more busy with taking care of ministerial posts and forming a government, without having to lose to many votes.

Today the average worker needs more retirement income than ever, due to increased life expectancy and soaring health care costs. But the main components of the retirement income system—Social Security and employer-provided pensions—are on the decline.

I do think many people would not mind working longer in case they can do that work in a healthy environment under good conditions and not having to do the job of two or even three, as it happens today. The pressure, at work, is much too high today and too many people get depressed by the circumstances at work.

But when people would not mind doing a job they should also be able to find one.

Reflecting the modest contraction in the economy in the fourth quarter of 2011, all large EU Member States, including Germany, are now facing deteriorating labour market prospects, while productivity growth is adversely impacted across the EU. However, the growth in permanent contracts has remained positive, whereas temporary employment lost momentum.

Netherlands, leaflet for the promotion of unemployment relief, 1907

Joining the unemployed, nothing news under the sun - 1907 Pamphlet/leaflet in Dutch from 1907 with an appeal for aid -in the form of public works- for the unemployed. Image: procession of the unemployed. Text in lower left corner says: "Not a handout but Labour, who helps us?"

Since spring 2011 some 1.6 million Europeans have joined the ranks of the unemployed, with the unemployment rate hitting a new high at 10.1 % in January 2012. The unemployment rebound has again hit men hardest, while the youth unemployment rate reached a historic high at 22.4 % in the EU in January 2012. The deterioration is also mirrored by the increase in the share of young people neither in employment nor in education or training (NEETs).

On the other hand, the analysis of the joint movement of unemployment rates and labour shortage indicators (Beveridge curve) shows a tendency towards a higher level of vacancies for a given unemployment rate in the EU.

The social situation remains worrying, although recent consumer surveys indicate a moderate decline over recent months in the share of households experiencing financial distress across the EU, while major contrasts persist according to the level of household income.

Ultimately, children have been more affected by the crisis than the rest of the population, mainly because they live in households headed by working-age adults who were directly hit by rising unemployment.

Social protection expenditure now accounts for nearly 30% of GDP in the EU. The redistributive impact of this spending is important. In the absence of social transfers, the poverty risk would be considerably higher than the actual at-risk-of poverty rate of 16%.

In February 2012, employment expectations remained depressed in the tertiary sector and in construction in most Member States, whereas they remained broadly optimistic in industry. The latest Commission’s interim forecast revised EU GDP growth downwards for 2012, with an expected weak GDP upturn in the second half of the year unlikely to lift employment prospects anytime soon.

Falling birth rates may be helping with population control, but they also make paying those pensions and health care benefits even harder. Moreover, they tend to happen in countries that are getting wealthier, and parents want to invest a lot in just one or two children – fewer kids, but more consumption demanded by each of them. This increase in consumption could mean more productivity and more income, but many factories use machinery to increase production, go to cheaper countries, and avoid having to pay taxes, so they do not bring in much money in the State-pocket.

Industry has to be kept in the country and more people should be able to get to do some job. Non-workers have to be converted to workers. There is enough social work to be done, so any body wanting some finance from the government (unemployment and social benefit)  should do something in return. The State should also be aware that longer working lives with longer working hours shall mean fewer people being employed plus those at work being more vulnerable to get a bad health, and therefore it should be very careful not bringing too many people in the danger zone of social benefit.

A stressy work situation naturally could reduce the years a person is going to live, so perhaps governments are looking forward to a reducing elderly group.

By continuing to work until their mid-60s or beyond, most individuals should be able to secure a reasonably comfortable retirement. Implementing such a change on a large scale will not be simple, however. It requires thought and planning on the part of individuals, employers, and the government.

We have made remarkable progress in improving health and longevity. Now we need to figure out how to finance the substantially longer retirements these gains have produced. Working Longer: The Solution to the Retirement Income Challenge

In Working Longer, Munnell and Sass make a strong case for moving the average age at retirement from 62 to 65 or 66—and thereby safeguarding the future of most retirees.
> Working Longer: The Solution to the Retirement Income Challenge by  Alicia H. Munnell and  Steven A. Sass


Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: Langer werken of vroeger sterven

Find out more about the European Year of Active Ageing

Please do find:

  1. EU Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review – March 2012 Pdf
  2. How Can Employers Encourage Young Workers to Save for Retirement?
    One reason young workers don’t save for retirement is that the event is so far off.
    Therefore, communications designed to spur saving by young workers should match the framing of the message to the time horizon of the savings milestone.
  3. Can the Actuarial Reduction for Social Security Early Retirement Still Be Right?
    • Monthly Social Security benefits claimed at age 62, rather than 65, are reduced about 20 percent to avoid additional costs to the program.
    • When the reduction was set over 50 years ago, a worker claiming at 62 received benefits about 20 percent longer.  As life expectancy has risen, this worker now receives benefits only about 15 percent longer.
    • But the cost of benefits, the present discounted value of lifetime benefits, also depends on interest rates.  Rates have generally risen since the 1960s, making future benefits less costly.
    • These higher rates have largely offset the impact of rising life expectancy, suggesting that the reduction factor has proven remarkably durable over time.

    4. + Video’s: European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations

In Dutch:

  1. A Historical sketch of the Graying Population in the Netherlands: Historische schets van de Vergrijzing
    in 1913 kwam er dan eindelijk wettelijk vastgelegd een vorm van sociale zekerheid. Het was de zogenoemde Invaliditeitswet. Deze wet hield in dat er bij het bereiken van de 70 jarige leeftijd een pensioentje werd uitgekeerd. Je werd dan namelijk als invalide beschouwd. In die tijd was het bijzonder om de leeftijd van 70 jaar te bereiken en daarom was het niet veel mensen gegund om nog van een pensioentje te mogen genieten.
    Er zijn inmiddels plannen van D’66 om de AOW-leeftijd te verhogen naar 67 jaar. Dit moet dan in 2030 voltooid worden waardoor er per jaar een x aantal jaren omhoog gaat. Per jaar gaat de AOW-leeftijd als het aan D66 ligt dus met 2 maanden omhoog. Ook de VVD had deze plannen maar deze zijn voorlopig ingetrokken. MEt de afschaffing van de prepensioen voor mensen die na 1950 geboren zijn, is er al een grote stap gedaan richting het verhogen van de pensioengerechtigde leeftijd.
  2. Belgische pensioenen bij laagste van Europa
  3. België heeft zwakste pensioen EU
    Een zorgeloze oude dag is in ons land minder gegarandeerd dan in om het even welk ander land van de EU.
    a.We hebben twee erg zwakke punten. In België is maar 30 procent van de bevolking tussen 55 en 64 jaar nog aan het werk, tegenover meer dan 60 procent in Denemarken, de nummer één in de rangschikking. Enkel in Slovenië en Polen is de verhouding tussen het aantal werkenden en (brug)gepensioneerden nog ongunstiger.
    b.Ten tweede is het officiële pensioen in ons land met gemiddeld 40 procent van het laatste brutoloon allesbehalve genereus. Maar toch België moeite met de financiering ervan. Dat heeft volgens Aon alles te maken met de hoge levensverwachting in ons land, gekoppeld aan de vroegere (brug)pensionering. Gemiddeld is een Belg 19,15 jaar met pensioen, tegen 15,3 jaar in Denemarken.
    België moet de volgende veertig jaar elke euro waarover het beschikt in de pensioenen en gezondheidszorg steken, indien we die pensioenen en de gezondheidssector op het niveau van vandaag willen behouden.
  4. Ruim 150.000 Belgen genieten van buitenlands pensioen
  5. In België kennen we verschillende vormen van Pensioenopbouw.  Deze worden verdeeld in 3 groepen : de drie pensioenpijlers.
  6. Estimation of your retirement allowance in Belgium: Raming pensioenrechten
  7. Meer informatie over de berekening van het bedrag van uw toekomstige pensioen vindt u op de site van het RSVZ.
  8. U kunt een simulatie doen om het bedrag van het wettelijk pensioen te berekenen op de portaalsite over de sociale zekerheid.
  9. Pensioenhervorming Markante feiten over het Pensioen in België
  10. Belgische Pensioenatlas


  • Van Rompuy re-elected as European Council President (
  • Summary Box: Europe looks for way back to growth (
    The cuts and the debt crisis have driven unemployment in the 17-country eurozone to its highest level since the shared currency was established in 1999.

  • EU Summit Shows Signs Of ‘Stability’ – NPR ( Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (left) and European Union President Herman Van Rompuy open a ceremony to sign an economic treaty Friday.
    with unemployment in Europe at a 10-year high and austerity measures intensifying the economic slowdown, leaders aren’t quite sure how to reconcile the need to stimulate growth with the discipline required to fulfill the new fiscal pact.
    Despite the clear skies over Brussels this week, analysts say there are clouds on the horizon. Germany opposes building a bigger firewall against Europe’s debt contagion, so the issue of beefing up the European Stability Mechanism — a permanent rescue fund — was put off until mid-March. European leaders have also delayed approval of more than half of Greece’s $170-billion bailout until private bondholders agree to take losses of more than 70 percent in a debt swap.
  • Herman Van Rompuy’s delusions of grandeur underscore the folly of the European project (
    Together we must bring Europe back on the path to structural growth and jobs. Exploiting the full potential of our great market. Using the EU’s central budget to foster competitiveness and employment. Investing in innovation, education and green technology, precisely when we reduce deficits. We must provide a positive outlook for jobs and prosperity, in fairness and in justice.
    !!!  Mr. Van Rompuy is deluding himself if he believes that “ever-closer union” is Europe’s destiny. As Lady Thatcher noted a decade ago in her book Statecraft, the relentless drive to create a European federal superstate is “a classic utopian project, a monument to the vanity of intellectuals, a programme whose inevitable destiny is failure: only the scale of the final damage done is in doubt.”  Van Rompuy and his cohorts are steering a ship of fools that is heading for the rocks. Europe needs economic freedom, political liberty, and self-determination, not the dead hand of Brussels. !!!
  • The French Won’t Stop the Circus – So Let’s Beat Up the Belgians! (
    a trip of 220 miles, and is reckoned to cost £150 million a year.
  • EU treaty: Angela Merkel hails fiscal deal as a ‘great leap’, but within hours debt rules are broken (
    Britain was left out in the cold yesterday as EU leaders signed  a controversial treaty which  critics say could herald the dawn of a two-tier Europe.Furious Tory MPs last night argued Britain would be pushed to the margins of European decision-making and renewed their calls for a referendum on whether we should now leave the EU.
    Mrs Merkel hailed the Fiscal Compact as ‘a milestone in the history of the European Union’.She said: ‘I think it’s a strong signal that we have learned from the crisis and understood the signals and that we are banking on the future of a politically united Europe.’In a speech at the signing ceremony, Herman Van Rompuy said: ‘This stronger self-constraint by each and every one of you as regards debts and deficits is important in itself.‘It helps prevent a repetition of the sovereign debt crisis. It will thus also reinforce trust among member states, which is politically important as well.’
  • EU Summit: Live (
  • EU’s Van Rompuy warns over complacency in euro debt crisis(
    Van Rompuy warned that countries which would not meet deficit reduction targets might pay more for debt financing.
    “One can think to take it easy with budget targets but financial markets can respond to this badly. What one hopes to gain by fewer budget cuts one loses by higher interest rates (on debt),” he said.

    Asked about a call from a Dutch politician and government ally, Geert Wilders, to hold a referendum about leaving the euro zone, Van Rompuy said such an exit would be the end of the EU.
    “If one left the euro zone the Netherlands would not be the only country, and the euro zone would fall apart. Then the whole union would fall apart,” he said.
    Dutch Freedom Party leader Wilders, who opposes euro zone bailouts and supports the Dutch minority government, on Saturday called for a referendum to let citizens choose to return to the guilder or keep the euro.
    Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who relies on opposition parties to approve euro zone bailouts, opposes the idea of returning to the guilder, saying it would be disastrous for the Netherlands’ export-oriented economy.
  • Guest blog – Get involved in the European Year of Active Ageing (
    Maybe you know this, maybe you don’t: 2012 has been designated the European Year of Active Ageing.  You might wonder, what has that got to do with me? Isn’t Europe something far away, that has little to do with what happens to me on a daily basis?However, we think there is something you can do. The 27 countries of the European Union have many things in common, and one of these is that their populations are getting older.
    The UK was on the whole upbeat about the perception of older people, with 68 per cent sensing it was positive. UK respondents also posted low levels of direct experience of discrimination at work (17%), in education and training (10%), healthcare (12%) and financial services (9%). And only about one-third of people were concerned about the ageing population.
  • 1985-2012 Poverty in Europe (
  • Deepening poverty drives people out of eastern Europe (
    More than 20 years after the fall of communism, the wealth gap between the east and west of Europe persists, and countries from the Black Sea to the Baltic are shedding people at an alarming rate.
  • Priorities of the Danish EU Presidency 2012- European Parliament Offices, 23rd of February 2012. (
    Gay Mitchell MEP gave his address, as host. He outlined that the Danish and upcoming Irish presidencies present an opportunity to rescue Europe from intergovernmentalism. He expressed the view that the European People’s Party now had an onerous obligation to take leadership of a renewal of Europe. He said it was time to admit the failures of the market system and its lack of oversight of lawmakers and regulators. He said that it was time to vigorously re-state the principles on which the social market economy is based.
    A part of a Dynamic Europe, the Presidency would aim to stimulate long-term growth and job creation across Europe. Denmark would seek to promote the Single Market and the Ambassador mentioned in particular the unfulfilled potential of the Digital Single Market which could reap benefits.
  • How are the current policies of UK government and businesses meeting the needs of an ageing society? (
    1.4 million people in the UK are now aged over 85 and the numbers of older people continue to rise. Age UK’s new report, Agenda for Later Life 2012, looks at how public policy is meeting the challenges of an ageing society both at home and abroad.
    Find out more about key indicators that relate to ageing and older people’s issues in the UK. 
  • Why the UK and Portugal should not fear leaving the EU… Facts, not fiction. (
    Fact 1; Since 1991 the EU has grown by 1.5% per annum, whilst the rest of the world has grown at over twice that rate.Fact 2: In 1991 EU output represented 22% of global output, it is now down to 15% and by 2016 is forecast to be as low as 12% (both IMF figures)Looking at these figures we can see that membership of the EU is not doing our country any favours.
  • Why It’s ‘Cool’ To Work Into Old Age (
    Sometimes, though, when pop culture points the way, others will follow, if only because it’s “cool” to do so. Some of the most iconic bands who won our hearts years ago – the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, the Chieftains – are now paving the way for active aging, still working well into their 60s and 70s as they celebrate their bands’ 50th anniversaries.

    Eminent emeritus professors in the United Kingdom, by some accounts, are producing their best work in their 70s and 80s. Unburdened by tenure requirements, they are free to use their lifelong learning to explore new directions of thought, more time to teach, mentor, and review work done in their fields.

  • Keeping Track of Your Retirement Investments (
  • 2012 Active Ageing Seminar (
  • Budget 2012: review & how you are affected (
  • Number of Britons working past 65 soars despite influx of migrant employees (
    The number of Britons  working past 65 has soared in ten years despite an influx of migrant workers, official figures show.A report published today says the idea that over-65s are a burden on the young does not stand up to scrutiny – and that they have been forced to take jobs that younger people refuse to do.
    Office for National Statistics for the Spectator magazine showed there are 789,000 fewer working-age Britons in employment than there were ten years ago, but 358,000 more pension-age workers.
    +In total, the number of UK-born 16- to 64-year-olds in work fell between 2001 and 2011 from 25,093,000 to 24,304,000, the analysis suggests.But the number of UK-born over-65s in a job almost doubled, from 418,000 to 776,000.
  • Solidarity With Today’s General Strike in Spain (
  • 16 Reasons Why You Should Never Retire (
    I think retirement is and should be a wonderful goal for everyone, but after reading The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, you couldn’t agree with Tim Ferriss more when he discusses taking mini-retirements and consistently working throughout your life. Here are my reasons that you should never retire.
  • Budget: Government confirms plan to raise pension eligibility age ( under the age of 54 will be forced to wait longer to qualify for their Old Age Security pensions, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced Thursday.
    Canadians under the age of 54 will be forced to wait longer to qualify for their Old Age Security pensions, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced Thursday.The controversial shift means that starting in 2023, the age of eligibility for OAS benefits will gradually increase to 67 from 65.

  • Federal budget: Government confirms plan to raise pension eligibility age (
    “The result is that Canadians are living longer and healthier. There are fewer workers to take their place when they retire. Canada has changed. Old Age Security must change with it, to serve the purpose it was intended to serve,” Flaherty said.

  • One in three workers do not have a pension (
    Nearly 15 million workers said that they don’t have a private or company pension, meaning that they will rely on the state pension to support them financially in retirement.Yet with the latest government reforms on state pensions, many of these people could be left with very little.The government recently announced a raft of pension reforms, meaning that the pension ages will be pushed back to 67 with thousands of people losing out.
  • Harper’s cuts to Canadian pension plans likely to spark national debate (
    – The backbone of the pension system — Old Age Security (OAS) — will be slashed for future seniors, likely by extending the age of eligibility to 67 from 65. The purpose is twofold: Keep Canadians in the workforce longer to boost the economy and provide taxes to government and; limit the costs of the OAS system by ensuring there are fewer beneficiaries. The big question Canadians will learn in the budget: When do the cutbacks start — expectations are it won’t be for another decade — and how gradually are they to be implemented?

  • NYC Workers Storm Retirement Systems Office To Get In On Soon-To-Be-Expired Pension Plan (
    Thousands of city workers are on a mad dash to apply for pensions before a new state law kicks in on Sunday. The new retirement programs will save the city billions because they dramatically cut benefits.
  • Don’t kid people that pensions are easy (
    The news from the NAPF that one in three workers may opt out of pension saving despite being automatically enrolled is depressing reading for anyone. This will leave many in poverty in retirement and taxpayers having to continue to fund pension benefits for those without their own provision.
    The reason people aren’t saving as they should do is less to do with the economic climate and poor PR as it is to do with a fundamental distrust of pensions and this is not down to PR but because people are fed up with being bullsh*tted.
  • Will you be working ’til 70? (
    People retiring 20 years from now are going to work about five years longer than people retiring today, a new report from the C.D. Howe Institute says.
    Hicks writes that the goal of raising the age of eligibility should be to “help shift the system away from the notion that there is a normal age of retirement based on a person’s chronological age.” I’m not sure whether getting rid of the idea of a normal age of retirement is a positive or negative development in our social history. I wouldn’t be happy if someone told me I had to stop working on a certain birthday, despite being healthy, enjoying my job or simply needing the money. On the other hand, the thought of reaching 65 and getting the proverbial gold watch along with a couple decades of leisure is also somewhat attractive. I guess the unspoken message here is that if you want to retire, make sure you’re saving all you can now so that you can decide your own retirement date and afford to take care of yourself.
  • Why Americans are Delaying Retirement (
    Workers are growing increasingly pessimistic about their ability to retire. The proportion of Americans who say they are very confident they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout retirement plunged from 27 percent in 2007 to 18 percent in 2008, and never went back up. In 2012, just 14 percent of individuals feel very confident about their financial security in retirement, according to a survey conducted annually by Mathew Greenwald and Associates and the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
    A single health problem could throw your entire retirement plan off track. Very few workers feel certain they will have enough money to pay for medical costs (13 percent) and long-term care expenses (9 percent) throughout retirement.
  • Default Retirement Age Scrapped (
    “By spending longer in the workforce they can also have a better pension in retirement,” commented Pensions Minister Steve Webb.
  • The case for early police retirement is unproven (
    The pension plans of Canadian police officers may be a less conspicuous issue than their rates of pay while they are serving the public, but their pensions are a major crux in the debate about the cost of policing.
  • Britain sees ‘seismic collapse’ in workplace pensions (
  • One in ten older people delaying retirement this year (
  • UK Pensions Crisis Makes Growing Old Expensive (
  • Would removal of DRA affect business insurance policyholders? (
  • Budget confirms Old Age Security push to age 67 (
  • Half of Britons consider ‘Marigold Hotel’ retirement overseas (
    Webb told the Pensions Management Institute‘s spring conference that the move will put into practice the kind of risk-sharing he wants to encourage as a middle way between defined benefit and defined contribution pensions.The UK’s defined benefit schemes are increasingly closing their doors to new members and being replaced by less generous defined contribution plans.
    Webb said that employees are likely to question pension plans which give “no idea on the benefits you will get after saving all your life”.
  • Who pays for a register of pensions? (
  • To get better pensions we need to share risk (
  • Healthcare timebomb as pensioner numbers rocket (
    Life expectancy for a man will rise to just over 90 by 2051, from around 86 today. For a woman, life expectancy will hit over 93 by 2051, up from 89 now.
  • Pension Planning – Preparing For The Years To Come (
  • IRA Basics (
  • Don’t pit young against old (
    it has become common for governments to blame baby boomers for increases in the cost of public services. The argument is: More older people means more Old Age Security payments, more health-care expenditures and a greater need for social services, along with less tax revenue.
  • The Takeaway: What Men and Women Can Learn From One Another About Saving for Retirement (
  • Older Workers Facing Discrimination In The Workplace (
  • No retirement in Singapore: We work till we die! (
    He told me he found those articles that criticise retirement by calling retirees “time wasters”, “idlers” and “useless” very insulting because he feels they are directed at him asking him to give up the best part of his life.The real tragedy is so many Singaporeans who have worked hard all their lives are forced to continue working when they are aged and employed in menial jobs for very low pay. The PAP govt is trying its best to deliver this (idea) “work until you die” future to ordinary Singaporeans by asking you to be “better, faster, cheaper”…. and “work forever”….
    ! *The truth is the govt is selling the “never retire” idea not so that you can have a happier life but to solve other problems. A large segment of the population work for low wages and will never be able to retire at a proper age and have to keep working until they are very old. The PAP govt has been extending the CPF withdrawal age forcing Singaporeans to work until an advanced age and locking up bigger sums by raising the minimum sum and through schemes like CPF Life.* !
  • Aspirations Between The Generations (
    For someone of the elderly generation, the future was a thing to plan for. Many people would begin to save and out aside pensions in order to live a comfortable and almost care free life after retirement.  With the younger people, it seems as though they are a lot more live for the moment. The phrase ‘you only live once’ is often used as an excuse for the way some of the younger generations live. They seem to spend what money they have a lot more frivolously, with little care about saving for their later years, thus living in the now. A lot of elderly people, when they were young,
  • Your Choice: Work Longer or Die Younger (
    How about this for an argument to raise the retirement age: If you don’t keep working, your community could die off.  That’s the threat posed by an intersection of biology and economics which could finally make some famous two-hundred-year-old predictions come true.  As the world’s population grows and successive generations consume more resources, can our economic productivity keep up?
  • Europe reaches deal to save Greece (
    Van Rompuy also said the eurozone and International Monetary Fund — which have both been propping the country up with loans since May of 2010 — will give the country another euro100 billion ($140 billion). That’s slightly less than amount agreed in July, presumably because the banks will now pick up more of the slack.

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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15 Responses to To Work Longer or Die Younger

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  4. 2012 ECOSOC High Level Segment Open Call for Oral and Written Statements

    This year, 2012 ECOSOC High Level Segment will be held on 2 – 9 July, 2012. The theme is “Promoting productive capacity, employment and decent work to eradicate poverty in the context of inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth at all levels for achieving the MDGs”. The NGO Branch of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs is announcing an open call for written statements for the 2012 High Level Segment for NGOs in ECOSOC consultative status. Only NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC (general, special, and roaster) may submit written statements. The deadline for submission is 6 April, 2012.

    For more details, please visit


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  9. Last Month to apply for ECOSOC consultative status in order to be considered by the 2014 NGO Committee (Deadline: 1 June 2013)

    1 June 2013 is the last day for non-governmental organizations to apply for Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) consultative status in order to have an opportunity to take part in UN deliberations. ECOSOC consultative status is governed by ECOSOC resolution 1996/31, which outlines the eligibility requirements for consultative status, rights and obligations of NGOs in consultative status, procedures for the withdrawal or suspension of consultative status, the role and functions of the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs, and the responsibilities of the UN Secretariat in supporting the consultative relationship. Consultative status is granted by ECOSOC upon recommendation of the ECOSOC Committee on NGOs, which is comprised of 19 Member States.

    For more information about ECOSOC Consultative status please go to


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