Age change could cost firms more

Consultant William Mercer has blasted government proposals to raise early
retirement age, saying they will do little to affect company employment policy
and could end up costing firms more.

The Government has proposed raising the age at which a pension can be drawn
from 50 to 55 to cut the number of early retirements and keeping skilled older
workers in the labour market.

But Peter Thompson, a worldwide partner at Mercer, said employers would not
welcome the moves as they restrict retirement and redundancy practices.

"Many employees retire early because their job is no longer needed or
because of ill health. Raising the retirement age will not affect these
fundamental causes. Either the company will continue to pay them off at an
enhanced cost, or they will be forced into unemployment and become dependent on
state benefits.

"On their own these pension proposals won’t create a single extra job
for older people."

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