Retirement Age in the U.S. Rises to 61

June 27, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. retirement [ri-TAHYUH R-muh nt] (n.) – the act of permanently leaving one’s work or professional career
ExampleMr. Tan is considering retirement after 45 years of working for the company.

2. bracket [BRAK-it] (n.) – a category or group that includes a certain range (e.g. of age, economic status, etc.)
Example Many people within the 25-30 age bracket are now getting married.

3. mandatory [MAN-duh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] (adj.) – required by the law
Example Wearing the I.D. while inside the office is mandatory.

4. assert [uh-SURT] (v.) – to say something in a forceful and confident way
Example The government asserts that the pension system for retirees is still stable.

5. keen [keen] (adj.) – very eager and excited about something
Example After retiring, the employee became keen on travelling around the world.


Read the text below.
Gallup's [GAL-uh p] Economy and Personal Finance survey has revealed that the average retirement age in the U.S. has risen from 57 two decades ago to 61 today.

Researchers conducted the survey through telephone interviews from a random sample of 2,017 adults.  The survey found that the respondents who were not retired yet planned to work later in life. Also, more than 50% of the non-retirees from the 58-64 age bracket expected to retire at 65.

Gallup's associate editor said that the survey does not only reflect the changing economy. The survey also shows people’s changing attitude towards work, the composition of the workforce, the mandatory retirement age, and other factors.

Richard Johnson, director of a nonpartisan policy institute in the U.S., stated that the rising trend started in the 1990's. Before that decade, the retirement age was low, possibly due to the healthy rate of pension plans, Social Security benefits, and personal savings. However, the trend reversed during the 1990's.

Data from the U.S. Bureau [BYOO R-oh] of Labor Statistics also show that in the early 1990's, 11% of the people who were 65 years old and above were still in the workforce. In April 2013, the number had risen to 19%.

Johnson asserted that many people are keen on working longer because of the increased benefits of doing so. He said that late retirement was a very important change in the recent history of the labor force, resulting to a very positive development.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree with Richard Johnson that the high retirement age is a positive development? Why or why not?
·         What do you think are the consequences of retiring at an older age? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         Do you agree that retirement is the best part of a person’s life? Why or why not?
·         Do you think people trust the retirement system/pension plans in your country? Why do you say so?


June 27, 2013