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Working longer: Leonard Cohen and NHS nurses

by on June 24, 2013

As reported here in the Daily Mail, George Osborne has given further indication that the state pension age in the UK will rise meaning that we will have to work for longer. He described this as ‘the most straightforward way of ensuring that public spending on older people remains sustainable’.

But the reality for many may be far from straightforward. What for example do Leonard Cohen and NHS nurses have in common? Potentially they share a financial necessity to work for longer than they expected. Whilst there is a definite trend for musicians to continue working well into their 60s and 70s, the Telegraph reports here that Leonard Cohen (the latest of the over 65s to perform to sell-out crowds) might also have been topping up his pension fund after his former manager defrauded him of millions.

But whilst the Telegraph’s review highlights Cohen’s musical continuity and suitability to a career extending into his 70s (“he’s  always sounded old and wrote songs that sounded old, grappling with themes of mortality and the meaning of love“), what about health professionals in the NHS?  The NHS Working Longer Review has issued a Call for Evidence from nurses and others in the NHS, asking for example, about the  barriers to working longer. Some jobs in the health sector require physical strength and fine motor skills which might present challenges to an extended working life.


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