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Workplace Issues Today: Older workers feel pain of raising Social Security

In the midst of debate over raising the age at which workers are eligible for Social Security, new reports are drawing attention to older workers who are doing physically demanding jobs. An analysis found that 1 in 3 workers over 58 does a job that is physically demanding, and that overall 45% of older workers held jobs classified as “difficult”. A 2006 study found that 20% of those who retired early did so for health reasons, and 40% said they were forced into it. Some who oppose raising the Social Security age, cite the effect that it will have on lower income people and minorities, who are more likely to start working at a younger age, and in a more physically demanding job. They are also more likely to have a lower lifespan, meaning that they pay into Social Security longer, but collect it for less time.

See “Retiring Later Is Hard Road For Laborers,” by John Leland, The New York Times, Sep 13 2010 (SD)

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