beginning of the 20th Century retirement was, for most people, short
and unpleasant. If it was no longer possible to work, savings had run out
and charity from the family was not available then the last recourse was to the
Workhouse, at the expense of the Parish.
in the Twentieth Century.
- 1909. The first Pensions Act was passed when a means tested state
pension was introduced for 70 year olds.
- 1928. A contributory national insurance scheme was introduced.
Retirement age was reduced to 65 and pensions were no longer means
tested but were paid automatically to all. There was no compulsion to
stop work in order to qualify so the number of people still working
- 1942. The Beveridge Report was published which became a blue print
for the post war development of Britain.
- 1946. The introduction of the National Insurance Acts was the
catalyst for the expansion of retirement during the next forty years.
The Act confirmed the state pension qualifying ages as 60 for women
and 65 for men. Retirement at 65 for men quickly became mandatory in a
wide number of occupations, particularly as working after
retirement was penalized by loss of state pension.
- 1960's. The basic State Pension was equivalent to 20% of average
- 1979 State pension increments were pegged to the retail price index
and no longer to average wage index.
- 1980. The concept of The Third Age emerged when people
started to lead more active retirements based on leisure, hobbies,
voluntary work and renewed study.
- Industrial and economic restructuring lead to the introduction of
- 1989, British retirees—no longer are penalized by the
- is now the equivalent of 14 percent of average earnings.3
20001 and beyond.
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