UCATT warnings over the too high pension age of 68 proved correct

New research has shown that one in eight workers in Britain are too sick or disabled to work by the time they can collect their state pension.


UCATT has repeatedly warned that a significant proportion of the population won’t reach the pensionable age of 68 in any fit state to enjoy their retirement. Desk bound politicians, out of touch with the realities of the real world, have pushed the pension age up, ignoring the fact that a life time of construction work cannot be sustained into old age.


The new research, carried out by the TUC and published in the report Postponing the pension, shows that half a million workers within five years of the state pension age have had to leave work for medical reasons. The results also show a clear North/South divide – 1 in 7 workers in Yorkshire cited sickness and disability as the reason for leaving work, while only 1 in 11 did so in the South East and 1 in 13 in the South West.


The report finds that nearly half of 60 to 64 year olds stopped working before their official retirement age.


UCATT Acting General Secretary, Brian Rye, said: “You cannot expect a human being to work in construction till they are 68 years old and still be a healthy human being. Our spectacularly out of touch politicians need to address this issue now and tailor the pension age to the nature of work that you do. I’d like to see some of these politicians do one year in construction, let alone 50 years.”


UCATT have long argued for a flexible pension age to allow construction workers and those in other manually demanding roles, which would allow them to retire earlier rather than forced out of the profession due to ill health and injury.


Mr Rye added: “We welcome the TUC research because it illustrates what we’ve been saying for years – certain professions, like construction, which are hugely physically demanding, need to be treated differently. Construction workers need to have options to allow them to receive a pension earlier. It’s common sense. We thought we’d gone past the time when exhausted workers retired and then croaked pretty soon after. We should be seeking social progress in 2016 – not regression.”




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