Saturday, January 11, 2014

United Kingdom: Study Calls for Upping Retirement Age, Saying Pension System Creates Incentives for Early Retirement

A report issued by the Institute of Economic Affairs says that recent United Kingdom government commitments to continue to increase state pension expenditure in real terms are both unaffordable and irresponsible, and that the government must accelerate the introduction of a later retirement age and urgently reform labor market regulations to enable people to work longer.

According to "Income from Work—The Fourth Pillar of Income Provision in Old Age" by Gabriel Sahlgren, the current state pension system is "incentivising" early retirement, and that employment protection legislation raises unemployment at older ages, including before state pension age. Furthermore, later retirement benefits the individual through improved health and higher incomes, and benefits taxpayers by reducing the costs of ageing populations.

The report makes ten recommendations to "ease the state pension time bomb," including:
  • accelerating the rise in retirement age, suggesting that, from November 2018, the state pension age for men and women should increase by two months every quarter, which would get the pension age to 68 by January 2023;
  • linking retirement with life expectancy from January 2023;
  • exempting older workers from employment protection legislation, which would encourage employers to take on older workers and also enable greater labor mobility and flexible working patterns; and
  • introducing a pilot scheme to exempt older workers from age discrimination laws.
Source: Institute of Economic Affairs Press Release (January 8, 2014)

Reaction: "Actuaries Buck Consultants have disagreed with the ‘dramatic’ rise in state pension age proposed by the Institute of Economic Affairs, saying changes must be balanced to protect those close to retirement." See The Actuary (January 14, 2014)

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Research Published on Relationship in United States of Education and Wages Among Older Employees

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) reports that research it has conducted finds that higher education pays off for women and men for all ages 50 and older, including for the oldest group studied, those 75 and older. According to "How Education Pays Off for Older Americans," by Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., and Jeff Hayes, Ph.D., those with higher levels of education—meaning those with at least some education beyond high school—work more at older ages and earn more per hour at older ages, relative to those with less education. However, women earn less at every age and education level than men, and often earn about the same as men who are at the educational level below them.

Among other things, the report finds that:
  • Estimated earnings of older Americans age 65 until their eventual retirement are three to almost five times higher for those with advanced degrees compared to those with only high school or less (and two to almost three times higher for those with Bachelor’s degrees).
  • The largest occupations for older women and men reveal considerable gender differences. Not only is there little overlap in the largest occupations for men and women aged 50 and older—only retail salespersons appear in the women’s and men’s lists of their ten largest occupations—but the occupations in which older men work pay more.
  • For those aged 75 and older, several very high wage occupations are among the most common for men: physicians and surgeons (at $64.54 per hour), lawyers and judges (at $59.13 per hour), and chief executives and legislators (at $48.00 per hour). For older women of the same age group, the highest paying occupation in the top ten list is secretary and receptionist at $15.37 per hour.
Source: Institute for Women's Policy Research Press Release (January 2, 2014)

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

BLS Finds Older Workers Have Less Severe Injuries, but Miss More Work Days for Recovery

According to an analysis of data by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, older workers are less likely to have severe work injuries, but they miss more work days to recover. Specifically, while the overall rate of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work to recuperate was 112 cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2012, down from 117 cases in 2011, and the median days away from work—a key measure of severity of injuries and illnesses was 9 days in 2012, workers aged 65 and older had the lowest incidence rate at 89 cases per 10,000 full-time workers, but they required the longest time away from work to recover: a median of 14 days.

Drawing on BLS's "Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days away from Work, 2012," it was also reported that workers ages 45 to 54 had the most cases of injuries and illnesses of any age group, with 293,700 cases in 2012, and had the highest incidence rate--121.7 cases per 10,000 full-time workers. Their median days away from work for these workers to recover was 11 days.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics TED: The Editor's Desk (December 30, 2013)