A recent BBC documentary, The Town That Never Retired, sought to show the effects ofincreasing the state pension age by putting retirees back to work.
Although the results were entertaining, they need not have bothered. Away from thecameras, unprecedented numbers of older people are staying in work .Since the start of therecession that began in 2008, the number of 16-to 24-year-olds in work has fallen by 597,000.Over the same period the number of workers over the age of 65 has increased by 240 o000.
The graying of the British workforce dates back to around 2001, since when theproportion of older people working has nearly doubled. But it has accelerated since the start ofthe recession. There are several reasons why. Happily, people are living longer and healthierlives, which makes staying in work less daunting than it was. Less happily, low interest rates, astagnant stock market and the end of many defined-benefit ( 固定收益 ) pension schemesmake it a financial necessity. And changing attitudes ,spurred by rules against agediscrimination, are making it easier than ever.
Most older workers are simply hanging on at the office: 63% of workers over state pensionage have been with their employer for more than ten years. Over two-thirds of them work part-time, mostly doing jobs that they once performed full-time. A big advantage is that they donot pay national insurance contributions effectively a second income tax on younger workers.
According to Stephen McNair, director of the Centre for Research into the Older Workforce,this flexibility explains why older workers have not suffered so much in the slump. Instead ofslashing the workforce, as in previous recessions, many firms have halted recruitment and cutworking hours. At small businesses in particular, keeping on older workers is cheaper and lessrisky than training replacements. Over half of workers over state pension age work forbusinesses with fewer than 25 employees.
Christopher Nipper, who owns David Nipper, a womens wear manufacturer based inDerbyshire, prizes his semi-retired workers, who can be employed at short notice and do notneed to work full-time to survive. Retired machinists can fill in if there is a surge in orders;former sales advisers can work as part-time consultants. As his competitors have movedproduction abroad, depleting the pool of trained labour,retaining older workers and their skillshas become even more important.
There is scope for the older workforce to expand. Workers over the age of 50 who aremade unemployed find it harder to pick up new jobs, which could mean that more oldsters wantto work than are able to. That would be good. The Office for Budget Responsibility, the fiscalwatchdog, reported on July 12th that an ageing, unproductive population is the biggestlong-term threat to Britain's economic health.
Data from the OECD, a think-tank, shows that employment rates among workersapproaching retirement age are split in Europe, with old workers hanging on best in the north.Government credit ratings follow a similar pattern. That Britain's ageing workforce more closelyresembles Germany's than Italy's could prove the country's salvation(拯救).
61. Which of the following can be inferred from the BBC documentary The Town ThatNever Retired?
A) What it intends to reveal is contrary to the reality.
B) It has received good comments from audience.
C) It aims to criticize the poor pension provision in the UK.
D) It reflects the current phenomenon of retirees coming back to work.
62. According to the passage, "it" ( Line 6, Para. 2 ) refers to__________.
A) age discrimination
B) the changing attitude
C) a financial necessity
D) staying in work after retiring
63. According to Paragraph 3, which of the following is TRUE about the older workers in theUK?
A) Most of them are loyal to their former employers.
B) Most of them rarely challenge themselves by seeking new types of jobs.
C) They do not have to pay national income tax.
D) 63% of them continue to work over the retirement age.
64. According to Christopher Nieper, why are semi-retired workers favored in hiring?
A) Because they can fill in the job vacancy in a brief time.
B) Because the pool of labour in the UK is drained.
C) Because they work harder than the yoking because of economic pressure.
D) Because their working hours can be as flexible as they want.
65. It can be concluded from the last paragraph that __________.
A) Britain's ageing workforce is similar to Italy's
B) Britain's credit ratings are higher than Italy's
C) Britain's salvation is better than Germany's
D) Britain's employment rates of ageing workforce are higher than Germany's