Increasing the retirement age is inevitable and better than the alternatives


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„FRENCH workers have begun another round of strikes in protest against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s proposals to extend the minimum retirement age to 62. The protesters probably haven’t stopped to examine how demographic trends are set to devastate government finances in the developed world.

The bad news was spelt out in “Global Ageing 2010: An Irreversible Truth”, a report released by Standard & Poor’s, a ratings agency, on October 7th. As the baby-boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) retire over the next two decades, the burden on the state will rise sharply.

This demographic problem has been coming for some time. But the boomers have not provided enough for their old age. And the credit crunch has made the sums look even worse.“
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