Just because people are living longer does not mean they are staying 100% fit longer. A significant % of over 50's are now suffering with long-term health problems, some with multiple problems. This may not affect desk-jockeys (like us) or the career pools that politicians are mostly drawn from but it does affect those people who have to carry out hard physical work. If you accept the argument that we as a nation cannot afford for people to retire early because of pension costs then there needs to be suitable work available for people in the 50-70 age range who can no longer do jobs that demand a high level of fitness & stamina. Unfortunately ageism is still rife in the world of work, as the increasing number of unemployed over 50's will testify. UK employers have a very long track record of underinvestment in training, in the past they preferred to 'poach' staff from other companies. This needs to change too.