Skip to content
Subscriber Only

America's CEOs Want You to Work Until You're 70

Workers in the senior section package cosmetics on the assembly line at the Bonne Bell cosmetics factory in Lakewood, Ohio

Workers in the senior section package cosmetics on the assembly line at the Bonne Bell cosmetics factory in Lakewood, Ohio Photograph by David Maxwell/AFP via Getty Images

Yes, you read that correctly. The Business Roundtable, the Washington lobbying powerhouse whose companies together employ 16 million workers, is suggesting raising the age at which people can get Medicare and full Social Security benefits to 70. (The change wouldn’t affect people who are 55 or older today.) The reasoning: Americans are living longer and the costs of Social Security and Medicare benefits are growing faster than the tax revenue that pays for them.

Raising the Medicare age to 70, from today’s 65, would keep the oldest workers, who generally have the greatest health costs, on private insurance for an additional five years. The shift would hit states that cover more low-income seniors through Medicaid, and it would raise premiums for younger people who buy health insurance through state exchanges, as more people with higher health costs enter the risk pool.