Pension news: Workers see their health deteriorating as pension age rises

Millions will also find it challenging to carry on their job as the minimum age to qualify for the state benefit continues to rise. After reaching 50 men can expect to be healthy and working for a further 11 years, with 8 years 4 months remaining for women, a study found. Researchers at Keele University found that this “work expectancy” also varied according to regions and types of jobs. Those in more deprived areas and in manual jobs were more likely to suffer.

However, self-employed people can expect longer healthy work-life expectancy, as can those who do not have to do manual labour.

Workers in the North-east have an expectancy three years lower on average compared to those in the South-east. Lead author Marty Parker said: “While everyone’s lives are different, our results suggest that many people will find it challenging to work for longer as the state pension age goes up.

“Poor health and a lack of appropriate job opportunities are a major reason for early retirement, sickness absence from work, and reduced productivity while at work.”

The study, which is published in The Lancet Public Health, called for a variety of interventions to help people extend their “healthy working lives”. In November 2018 the state pension age was 65, but this is gradually increasing and now depends on when you were born.

People born after April 6, 1978 have a state pension age of 68. The study analysed data from 15,000 men and women aged 50-plus.

Jan Shortt, of the National Pensioners’ Convention which is opposed to rises in the qualification age, said: “It’s all very well the Government continually increasing the retirement age, but this does not take into account an individual’s health and ability to work longer.

“Austerity has taken a toll on public health over the years and new evidence suggests the coronavirus lockdown will take an even bigger toll on the health of an ageing workforce.”

Anne Keen, of Women Against State Pension Injustice, added: “These statistics are deeply concerning, showing we will still need to work while our physical and mental health deteriorate.”

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