Model IELTS Writing Task 2: Extended Retirement Age

Sep 26, 2022 | IELTS Test

The model essay below is about work retirement age, and candidates are finding a lot of similarly worded questions in the test at the moment.

You are asked the extent to which you agree or disagree. You could score up to a band 8.0 by choosing to discuss just the advantages or the disadvantage. To score a band 9.0, the examiner must be able to say they could not think of anything that could be added – which would mean you would need to mention arguments from both sides.

The essay is structured as follows…

Introduction: containing the main ideas and opinion

1st Body Paragraph: giving reasons why the retirement age should be kept at its current level

2nd Body Paragraph: listing arguments in favour of extending the retirement age

Conclusion: paraphrases the author’s position and the topic sentences

IELTS Practice Question

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

People live longer than in the past so the retirement age should be increased.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

image of old retired couple


Mock IELTS Task 2 Answer

It’s undeniable that we’re living longer lives, and some people feel the age at which we retire should be changed to reflect this trend. Developments in our understanding of medicine and public health have in large part driven our rapidly increasing longevity; many people now live well into their eighties and nineties. Unfortunately, though, living longer does not necessarily equate to being able to work for longer.

On the one hand, retirement has historically been a necessity rather than a choice; people retired because they were no longer physically able to do their job. Those with physical occupations would typically struggle to continue working into their seventies and beyond. Forcing these people to work longer would not, therefore, make a positive impact on their overall wellbeing – or that of society.

On the other hand, far fewer people now work in manual-labour based jobs, and because the average life expectancy has increased faster than the retirement age, retirees are often now spending well over twenty years without working. Over time, this can become unsustainable for society, given older people typically rely on higher welfare spending but aren’t earning money and thus aren’t contributing to the Exchequer.

To conclude, although most people would once have been unable to work past their sixties – or certainly, at least, past their seventies – the situation has changed. We’re living longer, healthier lives. Job roles and the way we work has changed, and societal norms should, therefore, change too. Should the status quo remain, current government spending will become unsustainable, and that’s to the detriment of everyone.


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