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U.S. study looks at retirement issues for aging manual workers

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Increasing the minimum age at which workers can apply for their state retirement pension has featured high on the government's agenda in recent times.

Among the proposals to cut the deficit, raising the retirement age to 70, perhaps higher, has emerged as one possibility.

A new study from the U.S. Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) argues that manual workers could be faced with jobs they can no longer physically manage while not being eligible for a retirement pension if the changes are implemented.

"Many older workers are in jobs that require substantial physical effort, jobs that may not afford them the option of working into their 70s in order to get full retirement benefits," said Hye Jin Rho, author of the paper.

His report, 'Hard work? Patterns in physically demanding labor among older workers', warns little consideration has been given to the potential impact on retirees, with manual workers most severely affected.

CEPR concludes 'the study demonstrates that a large number of workers would be adversely affected by raising the normal retirement age. As with all the proposals to cut Social Security, careful consideration should be given to effects on the millions of older workers who will have little else to depend on in their retirement.'

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