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CPP Lecture by Manuel Valente: "Get Old or Die Trying: Age Discrimination in the Right to Retire"

Thursday 18 February 2021

The Center for Political Philosophy in Leiden is pleased to announce a talk by

Manuel Valente


"Get Old or Die Trying: Age Discrimination in the Right to Retire"


Retirement is often conditional on criteria that regular citizens can only meet at old age. High retirement ages, the name of such criteria, range from explicit age-based thresholds to implicit requirements, such as of a long career. In this article, I test high retirement ages against two principles of pension distribution: sufficiency and equality. Sufficiency worries about old-age poverty, whereas equality is concerned with access to equal retirement benefits. Sufficiency is compatible with high retirement ages, but fails to detect unfair inequalities between the long- and the short-lived. Pension equality captures such inequalities, but it is supportive of low retirement ages that may fail to guarantee old-age sufficiency. Each principle delivers contrasting views on retirement, which complicates their possible combination. To address this difficulty, I propose a pre-tirement system that, I argue, can ensure sufficiency without unfair inequality between the short- and the long-lived. This proposal has significant implications for the design and reform of pension schemes as well as to contemporary debates on age-group justice.

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