Monday, October 24, 2011

Should we raise the retirement age of private sector workers? What say you?

Hmm....this is a very thin line to thread. The government has recently announced an extension of the retirement age for public sector workers, and of late there are concerns whether the private sector should move the same way. There's pros and cons to extending the retirement age of an employee, one of the main pros is that we will have the employment of skilled and experienced workers and will be able to retain these people for another next few years but then, knowing a person is en-route to retirement, shouldn't a succession plan already be in place to groom the replacement for the retiree itself?
I am a strong believer that in whatever decisions we made, there should be worklife balance and there is more to life than work. I know, most of the time its easier said than done but then at old age, should we be slaving ourselves still in the dog-eat-dog world after more than 3 decades in the workforce, and miss out on the very limited time left to outselves?
I suppose we should be given an option, rather than pushed to accept an additional years in the workforce. Its unfair to raise the retirement age and later limits the ability of retirees who retired at 55 to access their retirement funds due to the fact they no longer wish to be employed till 60 or 65.
Because at 55 years-old, its highly likely that our efficeincy would not match up to our 20 year-oldselves. Our children would have grown up and we have grandchildrens to dot on. We would have a lot of catching up to do in the things we missed out (like travelling, reading, cooking) and I have to say, its a good age to start to start anew with the coming of old age. Because being retired is not easy, its another phase in our lives that brings changes - physically, financially and emotionally. Some people might need a while to adapt to retirement age and enjoy what it has to offer before finally accepting the fact that he/she has retired and life is not excatly as it used to be when they were working.
Rather than extending the retirement age, an option for extension of years at work or a flexible working arrangements might be better suited. With this those who opt to spend more time with their families can retire as usual, while the rest who wish to continue on in the workforce has the flexibility to be in service for an additional number of years/period of time a day. Flexible working arrangements has been engaged in many developed countries to retain their brightest minds at retirement period or in other circumstances ie maternity, sabbathical etc. Believe it or not there are countries that gave 6 months to a year of maternity leave and in order to get the service of the people, they offered flexible working arrangements instead to get a win-win situation at work.
I hope they wont insist of pushing the retirement age....if possible can you guys work on improvement of quality of life and increase in earnings instead? That will be great!

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