U.S. states aren’t the only places facing pension crises at the moment: Underfunded and unsustainable pensions are wreaking havoc in Europe too. The Scotsman, in particular, is up in arms over new rules tying retirement to life expectancy; the paper describes the future under the rule changes as “a grim picture of aged toil.”The gradual ratcheting up of life expectancy means that future retirees in the UK may be forced to continue working well into their seventies. And within the next decade, retirement age will rise from 65 today to 67. These changes will become more drastic as time goes on. Today’s toddlers may work until they turn 77, and their children are projected to work until they are 85.The Scotsman (and others) shouldn’t forget the rather shiny silver lining to this supposedly ominous forecast: People may be forced to work longer, but that’s only because they are living longer too, and the new pension plan guarantees 20 years of coverage. Today’s youth may have to work until they are 77, but they can also expect to reach the ripe old age of 97 on average.Via Meadia has long believed that work is an essential part of a healthy and happy life, so we find it hard to see this as bad news. The ability to continue working into later years is an important, life-affirming advance, and it’s no tragedy if pension policies reflect that truth.What would be much, much worse is for 60 year olds to retire and then discover 20 years later that their retirement plans have gone bankrupt and that they face 17 more years of scraping by on what little is left. Rising life expectancy is a good thing, but like everything else it comes at a price. In this case, the price is more work.