Pension Reform

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 31st October 2005.

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Photo of Denis MacShane Denis MacShane Labour, Rotherham 2:30 pm, 31st October 2005

My right hon. Friend is a very youthful, energetic, virile kind of chap with many years of service on the Front Bench. Will he welcome the German Government's decision to move the retirement age in Germany from 65 to 67? Bismarck chose a retirement age of 65 at a time when the average life expectancy of a German worker was 49, which resulted in a wonderful pension scheme—everybody paid in, and, if they lived, they waited until they were 65 to draw out. We live in a different world, and I urge my right hon. Friend to get away from 60, 65 and any other arbitrary age limit and to bury the idea that there is a time when people must retire or when he must leave the Front Bench.