With people living longer and having fewer children in developed countries, the population is aging even as the workforce shrinks. And with retirement ages in the 60s, retirees are living longer on pensions. Those demographic shifts make a policy shift inevitable: we’re all going to have to work longer, the Economist contends. The retirement age for state-backed pensions should be 70.
It doesn’t have to be a disaster; in fact, many baby boomers say they’d like to keep a toe in the work world. “Many people benefit in mind and body from having something to get them out of the house,” the Economist notes. And although older people may not be as productive as their younger counterparts in some tasks, they could be assigned different, more appropriate jobs; Japan’s Hitachi already uses such a strategy.