2 July 2012
The formula announced in the Queen’s Speech will mean babies born this year have to work until they are 80. That is why PCS, Unite and the National Union of Teachers joined together to launch the ‘68 is too late’ campaign to challenge the idea that people should work until they drop.
John Lawson, head of pension policy at Standard Life, said: “If after 2026 the state pension age increases in line with our changing life expectancy, we could expect that someone who is currently 37 won’t be able to start drawing their state pension until they are 70 and someone who is 21 won’t receive it until they are 75.
“This means that children born in 2012 are unlikely to get their state pension until 80, if life expectancy at retirement rises in line with the last 30 years.”
As Activate went to press more than 5,700 people had emailed prime minister David Cameron to protest about the plans.
And eight more unions representing workers from bakers to seafarers had put their name to the '68 is too late’ campaign. -
Before the pension age legislation goes through parliament the campaign will be stepped up with lobbying of MPs, meetings and demonstrations.
The unions are working with Blue State Digital – a US-based communications agency that set up an unprecedented web operation for the Obama for America campaign. The company ran an email campaign that engaged more than 13.5 million individual supporters. The idea is to use BSD’s expertise to achieve the best results from the database of support built up through the campaign website.
Reps and activists have a vital role taking ’68 is too late’ into workplaces and communities.
Campaign materials can be distributed at every opportunity – because the changes to the state pension age hit everyone, whether they work in the public sector, private sector, or are on benefits.
There are already more than a million young people unemployed. Statistics from 2010 show that more than 80% of men aged between 55 and 59, and nearly 70% of women, were economically active.
If, as the retirement age goes up, this proportion of the workforce were to stay economically active to the age of 64, a further 1.2 million jobs would be needed.
The other unions backing the campaign are the National Union of Students, Prison Officers’ Association, Welsh teaching union UCAC, Educational Institute of Scotland, Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union, Rail Maritime and Transport union and Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance and National Association of Probation Officers.
Average life expectancy may be increasing, but the new laws on pension age will force ordinary people to work through the ill health that comes with growing old.
In 2001, the average age reached in good health in the UK was 68.8 for women, and 67 for men. Even more alarmingly research published in May this year by the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service showed that 58% of people in the UK have a long-standing illness or health problem by the age of 65. So hardly anyone will be capable of working to 68 or older but they will be forced to take their pension early, and much reduced, adding more poverty to the problems of the elderly.
Read and share the new blog.
• Encourage workmates, friends, family and fellow trade unionists to sign up to the campaign on the website
• Use laptop computers on stalls to encourage people to sign up on mass – as many branches did with the PCS pension calculator
• Emphasise the fact that increasing the state pension age will mean fewer jobs for everyone else.
Read and share the campaign website and take action: 68istoolate.org.uk