Does a Uniform Retirement Age Make Sense?

Source: Geoffrey T. Sanzenbacher, Anthony Webb, Natalia S. Orlova and Candace M. Cosgrove, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Issue Brief, IB#16-1, January 2016

The brief’s key findings are:
– Due to rising life expectancies, many policy experts would encourage people to work longer.
– However, such changes assume all workers, regardless of socioeconomic status (SES), have experienced similar gains in life expectancy.
– In fact, between 1979 and 2011, the gain for men in the lowest education quartile was one third lower than for men in the highest quartile.
– If the goal were to keep the same balance of retirement to work years as in 1979, low-SES men could work to 68 today, while high-SES men could work to 69½.
– Thus, retirement policies that treat all workers the same hurt low-SES workers.