Ageism in the UK

Ageism is defined as the discrimination of people based on their age group and considering the term usually refers to discriminating against the elderly, this word is quite young.

Ageism was first described by psychiatrist and Pulitzer Prize winner in 1969 by Dr. Robert Neil Butler.

This form of prejudice is becoming more and more apparent in the UK in recent years.

Retirement Age on the Rise

The mandatory retirement age in the UK was previously 65 years of age. In 2011, this law was abolished and has slowly been phased out of both private and public sectors, but for many this hasn’t stopped the discrimination.

Although it is not legal for a company to make an employee redundant due to age, the reasons for their dismissal are usually sugar-coated.

Many of the elder generation are in good health and need their employment in order to benefit from the mental stimulation it provides.

However, most over 60’s are denied the opportunity at a new job in favor of younger individuals even though it is not stated outright.

Pension Deficits

While many stay employed because they would feel worse off without their jobs, many are staying employed because they cannot gain access to their pensions.

Additionally, even though many do have access to their pensions, the annuity is simply not enough to sustain them and therefore choose to stay employed due to necessity.

Outrageous pension deficits and annuity rates are becoming exposed and it is not likely that the condition will improve in the near future.

Many are already locked into their pension schemes and are unable to shop around for alternative financial products that may allow them access to higher rates.

Nations Against Ageism

Although the UK pioneered in removing the mandatory retirement age, other countries seem to be taking further strides in protecting the elderly’s rights in addition to allowing them more opportunity.

In Sweden for example, if a company recruits someone of an older age there are subsidized up to 75% of that individuals pay. This government initiative is done in the hopes of endorsing the elderly.

Elsewhere across the Netherlands, anti-ageist policies and campaigns are being carried out by the government to promote the above 60’s as an asset and not a liability.

In Germany, the government has plans to introduce more flexible work times for the older workforce.

Considering the pension problem the nation is facing, measures such as the above would greatly help the situation of many elderly and able individuals.

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