Tuesday, March 5, 2019

On the topic of retirement age

There is a new law that lowered the age of optional retirement to 55. This means people have the option to retire early and get the benefits due them. Prior to this, the law only provides for optional retirement at 60 for government employees. The private sector had different policies or rules according to the company. Thus, different companies may offer many versions of early retirement packages not counting rationalization plans and/or redundancies. But while the typical retirement age in the private sector is 60, companies often provide for extensions given the right conditions or situations. My father actually was given a rather generous extension by his company when he was about to retire at the age of 60. Being a senior manager at the manufacturing plant where he worked, he was even given a promotion - becoming plant superintendent until he finally retired at 65. But that is more an exception that the rule for private companies.

There is one senatorial candidate who says he will push for the extension of the compulsory retirement age to 70 years instead of the current 65. I share this view as from experience, there are many including my own parents who were still very strong and productive after 65. They could have contributed more in terms of their capabilities at that age. However, I also think the workload could be lightened in order to also reduce stress levels. Of course, other benefits may also be provided since senior citizens have different needs compared to younger people. I believe their minds (i.e., wisdom) and experiences can be invaluable to companies or organizations. I know a former High School English teacher of mine who is in her 70s who still works as a consultant for a BPO.

There is also the practical and financial aspects to support this proposal. One friend opined that even for people who had good paying jobs, there is much uncertainty as to whether their retirement pay (i.e., ) will be enough for them to have comfortable living for the rest of their lives. Of course, there are those who probably had good investments during their younger days but these are again more the exceptions than the norm for most Filipinos. Most people only rely on their GSIS or SSS pensions but there are many expenses that need to be considered aside from the typical necessities like food and shelter. There are also expenses related to health like medicines, check-ups and medical procedures. And not everyone own their homes or are in perfect health. And so it makes sense to give more options pertaining to retirement.

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