Make older-persons-friendly retirement laws



In the last article, I argued why public servants should retire at 65. Empirical evidence shows that life expectancy has increased and continues to increase very fast.

The focus is not on the numbers but on supporting the same argument using the social psychology perspective. The government should consider it humane to allow those currently in employment to elect if they want to continue working or retire early.

Indeed, the government, in its obligation to treat all citizens fairly, could encourage those deemed old in the public service to continue rendering services to the public by raising the retirement age from 60 to 65.

The main reasons are that it challenges ageism, fosters inter-generational interactions, supports mental well-being, contributes to economic stability, facilitates the transfer of valuable skills and knowledge, helps maintain social identity and self-esteem, and preserves social networks. These factors collectively contribute to a more inclusive, supportive, and psychologically fulfilling society.

The Constitution is clear on equality and freedom from discrimination. Therefore, we need to make policies that guard against discrimination, age being one of them.

When older individuals are encouraged to stay in the workforce, it challenges stereotypes and prejudices about ageing. During pre-retirement training, we advise against retiring and going home to sit under a tree the whole day.

Find an activity or hobby that will keep you active, like farming or professional services. If you were a teacher, find a private school and teach. If you’re an accountant, start a private practice and keep or audit books for small ventures like farmers, women or youth groups and shopkeepers, among others.

Advantages include reducing age-related biases and fostering a more equitable and inclusive society. Encouraging older individuals to remain in the workforce promotes inter-generational interaction. Different age groups working together lead to a cross-pollination of ideas, mentorship, shared experiences, and perspectives.

In turn, it fosters mutual understanding and collaboration among workers of all ages, providing a sense of purpose and social engagement. For older individuals, retirement can sometimes result in feelings of isolation, a loss of purpose and neglect from the government.

Therefore, continuing to work can help maintain mental well-being by providing opportunities for social interaction, intellectual stimulation, and a structured daily routine.

By staying employed, older workers can continue to nurture and expand their social networks, which is crucial for emotional and psychological well-being.

As life expectancy continues to rise, our legislature needs to make laws and policies that help older persons age gracefully while we are tapping into their expertise.

As life expectancy increases, our legislature should make laws and policies that help older persons age gracefully.

A population with a higher proportion of older persons working contribute to economic stability as this reduces the dependency ratio (the number of non-working individuals compared to those actively contributing to the workforce). A well-balanced dependency ratio helps sustain social security systems and public services.

Older workers typically possess a wealth of experience and knowledge acquired over time in their careers. Encouraging them to stay in the workforce longer allows the gradual transfer of these skills to the younger generation of workers as they join the labour force.

This transfer of knowledge not only benefits the organization but also helps maintain the continuity of expertise within society.

Employment often plays an important role in an individual’s social identity and self-esteem. When people retire, they may lose a significant aspect of their identity. Staying employed can help older persons maintain a positive self-concept and a sense of belonging within the workforce and society.

The workplace serves as a vital social network for many. As people age, they tend to lose social connections due to retirement or other life changes.

By staying in employment, older workers can continue to nurture and expand their social networks which can be crucial for emotional and psychological well-being.

Research has found that the brain of an elderly person is much more practical. Also interesting is the fact that after 60, a person can use the two hemispheres left and right to become harmonious at the same time giving the ability to solve complex problems.

The writer is the Chief Executive Officer at pensions administrator Kingsland Court.

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