Letter: Ageist jobs bias

Sir: The decline in job prospects for men approaching retirement age is blamed on the high cost of funding salary-related pensions ("Jobs for middle-aged men vanishing", 8 February).

This can hardly be the case for the large numbers of low-paid manual workers who lose their jobs, since they are most unlikely to be members of generous final-salary pension schemes.

In the case of better-paid employees, it is a false economy for employers to resort to early retirement for those in their 50s simply to save on pension contributions. The resultant competition for the diminishing supply of skilled workers in their 20s and 30s merely has the effect of bidding salaries upwards.

Sadly, the deterioration in job prospects for middle-aged employees reflects the ageist policies being adopted by an increasing number of employers.


London SW7