Sir, “Retirement age for young Germans will have to rise to 69, central bank warns” (Aug. 16). That is a quite reasonable, even generous, retirement age if you are going to live to 85 or 90 or more.

Moreover, it would not be the highest retirement age Germany has had. When Otto von Bismarck introduced the first state pension scheme in the German Empire of 1889, the retirement age was set at 70! Needless to say, on average you were going to live many fewer years after 70 then than now. The Iron Chancellor knew what he was doing, actuarially speaking.

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