Nikki Haley says America's retirement age is 'way too low' and needs to be increased, while also calling on cognitive tests for politicians over 75

  • Nikki Haley, a Republican presidential candidate, said she wants to up the full retirement age.

  • She proposed increasing the full retirement age for "people like my kids in their twenties."

  • The idea is wildly unpopular, according to polling.

GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley said she thinks the US' retirement age is "way too low" and needs to be increased.

In an interview with Bloomberg Markets on Thursday a day after she attended the first GOP presidential debate in Milwaukee, Haley said the country should increase the retirement age in an attempt to address possible Social Security and Medicare insolvency.

"The way we deal with it," Haley said, "is we don't touch anyone's retirement or anyone who's been promised in, but we go to people like my kids in their twenties when they're coming into the system, and we say the rules have changed."

Asked by Joe Mathieu what is the "right age" she'd propose, Haley didn't have an exact answer but said that "65 is way too low" and needs to be increased in relation to the average US lifespan. While she mentioned 65 as too low, Congress upped the full retirement age in 1983 to 67 years old for anyone born in 1960 or later.

Though Haley argues that the increase is necessary to avoid Medicare and Social Security going bankrupt, she'd likely face massive resistance from constituents if she attempted such a change. According to a Quinnipiac poll from March 2023, nearly 80% of respondents opposed upping the retirement age even three years to 70 years old.

Haley's retirement proposal isn't the first time she's talked about age during her campaign — the 51-year-old has stated on several occasions that she believes politicians over 75 should be required to take cognitive competency tests.

The idea to submit politicians to competence tests arose as the two party's leading candidates, Democratic President Joe Biden and Republican former President Donald Trump, are 80 and 77 years old, respectively, and the average age of members of Congress continues to rise.

In 2020, Trump revealed he was previously administered a Montreal Cognitive Assessment, which physicians use to screen for cognitive impairment or dementia. Though "difficult," he bragged about receiving an unblemished 30 out of 30 score.

Haley's campaign did not respond to Insider's request for comment.

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