`End the fixed age of retiring'

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The Independent Online
MOST PEOPLE believe the Government should force people to save for old age, define an age requirement for certain jobs and remove the age of retirement to stop the cost of pensions become too great a burden on the state.

The findings come from the "Debate of the Age", a national consultation of the implications of an ageing society conducted by the Institute of Public Policy and Research. Given exclusively to The Independent, they show that nearly two-thirds of the people who took part in the consultation believed that some jobs were better suited to young or old people. However, while 80 per cent felt employers should not be allowed to discriminate on age they did want the Government to set clearer age criteria for different types of employment. They also felt people should retire at whatever age they wanted.

Nearly two-thirds of the population think that they should not have to contribute to their parents' care or pay for it through their inheritance. Instead, everybody should be made to save for old age so they can meet the costs of any future care they require.

The results come at the end of 18 months of consultation with over 400 people in 12 cities including London, Belfast, Dundee and Plymouth. The institute will present its final report, The Agenda of the Age, to the Government at the start of next year.

The state pensions bill now exceeds pounds 100bn and is rising as people are staying healthier and living longer. Social security experts believe that a mandatory second pension would be one way the Government could force people to provide for themselves after they have stopped working.