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PM’s Economic Advisory Council Advocates Raising Retirement Age Citing Increased Life Expectancy

The Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council has advocated raising the retirement age, citing increased life expectancy as a result of improved health infrastructure, which will allow older people to work longer than earlier generations.

The Council stated in a report released on Wednesday that because India is a young country with a large working population, the retirement age should be gradually increased. According to the report provided by the Council’s chairman, Bibek Debroy, “…increasing retirement ages leads to job creation for old persons without compromising the needs and the availability of jobs for the current workforce,”

Delaying retirement age to expand the working-age population may not decrease the strain on the social security system and is difficult for a country to do, according to the analysis. “ A rise in the retirement age, unless backed by social action and a series of other measures, won’t be enough to bridge the pensions gap and ensure the active ageing of an older person,” it stated.

Upskilling and reskilling chances for persons in their 50s and 60s are recommended in the research. “Both central and state governments should formulate policies that support the reskilling efforts. These efforts should not exclude older workers in the informal economy, those living in remote rural areas, members of ethnic minorities, refugees and migrants who often have poor access to training.”

According to Help Age International, a global network of organisations that works with and for older people, over 10% of India’s total population (about 139 million people) was over 60 in 2019. By 2050, one in every five persons will be a senior citizen, with the number of old predicted to quadruple to 19.5 percent. Kerala has the highest proportion of elderly persons (12.5%), followed by Goa (11.20%) and Tamil Nadu (10.4 %). Southern India has a higher number of old people due to a lower birth rate and fewer children. Kerala and Tamil Nadu both have fertility rates of 1.7, which are below replacement levels.

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