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Standard Life undergoes major shake-up

The Edinburgh-based insurance and pensions company Standard Life has announced a major shake-up which has seen several heads of department leave.

The company is restructuring its marketing departmentand putting more focus on managing its exposure to financial risk.

The measures will see sales and marketing brought together and is part of the new regime under David Nish. Read more »

Pension age: Ministers to speed up rise to 66

The government is planning to speed up the state pension age for men to 66, possibly by as early as 2016.

Ministers will also raise the option of extending it further, perhaps to 70 and beyond in the following decades.

The default retirement age of 65 – at which workers can be legally axed by employers – is also set to be axed.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said this would stop people being “cast on the scrap heap” and would help “reinvigorate what retirement means”. Read more »

French workers’ fury as retirement age is raised… to 62

France’s retirement age will be raised from 60 to 62 over the next eight years as part of sweeping pension reforms, the government announced today.

French labour minister Eric Woerth said that working longer was ‘inevitable’ and necessary to drag the country’s public finances out of the red.

Even with the change, the French workers will still retire far sooner than most others in the the developed world. Read more »

Public sector pension costs ‘to double in five years’

Nick Clegg has criticised “unreformed gold plated” public sector pensions, as new figures show spending on them will more than double by 2014/15.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) says the taxpayer cost is set to rise from £4bn to £9bn.

Deputy Prime Minister Mr Clegg said that was “unfair” and unaffordable.

But Dave Prentis, leader of the public sector union Unison, said the government was trying to create an “aura” of austerity before making cuts.

The coalition has promised a review of public sector pensions.

According to the OBR report, the rise in spending on provision until 2014/15 represents an average increase of 20% a year in real terms.

It is the first time the cost has been projected more than one year into the future and the OBR cites “demographic” reasons – the fact that more public sector workers are due to retire in the next four years and that they are more likely to live longer. Read more »

One in four ‘works all day without break’ – survey

One in four people in the UK often works all day without taking a break, a survey suggests.

More than half of the 3,000 people polled by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists said they went to work when feeling unwell or stressed.

Staff shortages were cited as a cause of stress and why breaks were skipped.

While work can contribute to people’s mental and physical well-being, overworking can lead to health problems, the CSP warned. Read more »