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IELTS essay, topic: Individuals should be responsible for funding their own retirement (agree/disagree)

This is a model response to a Writing Task 2 topic from High Scorer’s Choice IELTS Practice Tests book series (reprinted with permission). This answer is close to IELTS Band 9.

Set 5 Academic book, Practice Test 24

Writing Task 2

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

It is the responsibility of individuals to save and provide for their own retirement. Governments have no obligation to provide this benefit.

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

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

You should write at least 250 words.

Sample Band 9 Essay

The responsibility for providing funds for retirement is incredibly important and something that is often overlooked by younger people. Some believe it is the responsibility of the individual to plan for this, but others feel it is the responsibility of the state.

People who believe that the state should be responsible for funding retirees, base their argument on the fact that in most countries, people pay taxes and social charges to the government. This money, they argue, should also go towards the provision of a pension for the person paying the tax. In addition, those who have very small or no income, pay little or no tax and do not have the ability to provide for themselves. The government, therefore, in its role of caring for the population, has an obligation to pay a pension and provide other social benefits, such as medical treatment.

Many others, however, feel that it is the responsibility of individuals to fund their own retirements. As adults, they argue, people should be able to set aside and invest money throughout their lifetime, so that they can retire with few financial worries. In many countries the government has legislated a framework allowing and encouraging citizens to save up and accumulate sufficient funds for the period after their working years have ended.

I neither agree nor disagree with the statement, but rather my opinion takes in parts of both arguments. I feel that people should be responsible for saving money to fund their retirement, but I also feel that individuals who have not had the chance to do so should be supported by the government out of taxes. In my view, therefore, it is wrong to say that governments have no obligation to help people in this area. Governments are there to support the entire population of their countries, which includes the poorer elements of society.

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