People who do physically demanding jobs should have a lower retirement age, Jeremy Corbyn says

The Labour leadership frontrunner has suggested manual labourers be allowed to retire early

Jon Stone
Wednesday 02 September 2015 12:35 BST
Firemen (Getty Images)

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The retirement age for people who do physically demanding work should be lower than for people who work in sedentary professions, a Labour leadership contender has suggested.

Jeremy Corbyn said people like fire-fighters, builders, and emergency services workers should be exempt from the rising state pension age.

“Some people will be happy to work longer, others not. But living longer doesn’t mean we are able to work longer in physically demanding jobs like that of the firefighter, police officer or paramedic,” he wrote in a comment article for the the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn (Getty)

“So we need a flexible pension age that allows people to work for as long as they want to, while also recognising that for many people the nature of their work, their health, or their disability may not allow that.”

In the same article Mr Corbyn hinted that taxes might have to rise to fund better protection for the elderly, noting that they had previously been higher even under Margaret Thatcher’s premiership.

The number of people aged over 65 is expected to increase by 51 per cent over the next 20 years, putting more strain on the NHS, state pensions, and the social care system.

The retirement age is now tied by legislation to increasing life expectancy, which a business plan by the Department for Work and Pensions suggesting it could go up as much as six months every year.

It is estimated that the retirement age will hit 70 within the next 50 years as a result of increases in life expectancy.

The current retirement age is 65 for men and 60 for women, though these are both set to increase to 66 by 2020.

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