that could affect
their calculations. One is the "likelihood of persons opting to continue
to work at later ages. Even the conditions for this seem to be changing
as the physical requirements for occupations on average seem to be declining
in the emerging 'information' age."
Another variable is whether the U.S. economy could continue to provide enough
jobs. An increase in the retirement age from 65 to 70 would imply a need
for roughly 10 million new jobs, Tolley and Manton wrote. They point out
that "if the median age of the U.S. population keeps increasing, then
part of the jobs creation problem would be solved by a job shift (i.e.,
older workers would have to assume the job slots for younger workers if
the number of younger workers decline.)
"Furthermore, it may be that full-time employment at ages 65 to 70
might be defined to be a 32-hour work week."
Manton noted in an interview that limited changes in the normal retirement
age are forthcoming. Based on government action taken in 1983, the normal
retirement age would begin to rise to 67 after the turn of the century.
In addition, the Kerry-Danforth commission has studied a proposal that would
hike the retirement age to 70, and Manton said he's even heard talk of raising
it to 72.
He acknowledged that it's hard to predict how such changes would be received
by the American public.
"The trend actually has been in recent years that the proportion of
people retiring not just at age 65, but at 62 and 59, has increased. But
part of the reason why this has occurred is because some retirement programs
were set up to provide incentives for early retirement," he said. "For
example, we've had a period of downsizing and other factors to reduce the
employment rate and to get workers who aren't currently trained for the
current positions out of the labor force.
"Certainly, I think the incentives would change if you raise not just
the normal retirement age but also the age a
Contact: Keith Lawrence
Duke University 14-Oct-1996Page: 1 2 3 4 Related medicine news :1
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