India mulls gradual increase of retirement age

An advisory council to the prime minister has recommended raising the retirement age in phases, and to focus on creating jobs for older workers.
By: | August 16, 2021

This recommendation was made by the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister in view of the higher life expectancy made possible by better health infrastructure. 

Council chairman Bibek Debroy said in a report that the retirement age needs to be raised in a phased manner as India is a young nation with a high working population, adding that “increasing retirement ages leads to job creation for old persons without compromising the needs and the availability of jobs for the current workforce.” 

Increasing the retirement age will also reduce the pressure on the social security system, bridge the pensions gap and ensure the active ageing of older persons, the report said. 

To ensure that older workers remain relevant to the current labour environment, the report also recommended the upskilling and reskilling of people in their 50s and the 60s. “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.” 

READ: India female labour participation fell to 16.1%

Data from Help Age International, a global network of organisations working with and for older people, showed that over 10% of India’s total population were aged over 60 as of 2019. This group of people is expected to increase to 19.5% by 2050, according to Hindustan News.