The Grey Army is a newly-established group, working within the Association of Elderly Citizens, which aims to bring about a change of attitudes towards pensioners.
The Grey Army says it will not allow people to be put to one side just because they have reached the retirement age of 67. They want to continue to be an active part of society, despite having reached pension age. The respected broadcaster Helgi Pétursson and stage director Ásdís Skúladóttir are among the founders of the Grey Army.
They want to open a discussion about the older generation and what alternatives exist to simply clocking people out as soon as they reach 67, RÚV reports. “I will be 67 next month and if I am therefore to be labelled an Old Age Pensioner on that day, people will have to watch themselves! I’m not taking anything from anyone. I have been paying tax and pension contributions for 45 years. I am going to start drawing my pension: I will be a pensioner, but not an OAP.”
Ásdís says that many people her age are in a difficult position after quitting work. Many took time off to have children, left the workplace for a while and then come back part-time. “A minority of women my age have been in full-time employment all their lives. They started paying into pensions late and then worked half-time because it seemed natural that they would look after the household.”
Helgi says that the Grey Army is first and foremost a pressure group, and not a political force. It is a cross-political force which intends over the coming months to take the discussion to trades unions and political parties, in time for the next elections this autumn; so that older people will be better represented in the future.