Free Exchange reanimates the retirement age debate:
Keeping people in the labour force longer may mean rethinking what retirement means. Rather than a discrete and sudden exit retirement may become more gradual. Phasing people outperhaps by offering the option of part-time work in the years leading up to retirement, may make sense. That may be easier on people who work well into old-age, as it puts them under less physical strain and it eases the mental transition into retirement. More part-time work also allows firms to pay these workers less than their full salary. The concept of retirement is relatively new and constantly evolving. Somehow it became the norm to spend up to a third of your life on holiday. This was never a good idea or particularly realistic. It puts a huge burden on the government, robs the labour force of still-productive and valuable workers, and it may even increase unemployment for younger workers. The time has come to think more creatively about what retirement means and when it will occur.