Workers Worldwide: Let Us Keep Working

Workers Set against Fixed Retirement Ages (FT)

People around the world overwhelmingly oppose mandatory retirement, according to a ground-breaking survey of global attitudes to ageing published on Tuesday by HSBC, the international banking group.

The survey, described by the bank as the largest of its kind, found that 80 per cent of people on average believed employees should be able to carry on working at any age. Majorities ranged from 93 per cent in the US to 62 per cent in India.

Raising the retirement age was seen by 45 per cent of people as the best way to tackle the retirement funding burden caused by longer life-spans, declining fertility and the ageing baby-boomer generation. Only 26 per cent preferred higher taxes, and 15 per cent lower pensions.

Sir John Bond, chairman of HSBC, said: “It is critical that governments, regulators, corporations and financial institutions understand these emerging trends in behaviour and attitude if we are to successfully tackle the pressing issues before us.”

Despite changing attitudes to later life, the norm remains for people to make an early exit from their main job. The average retirement age globally last year was 58, and respondents still in work said they expected to retire at 59 on average.

The report, The Future of Retirement, said that laws and employers’ policies often did not allow people the freedom they wanted to choose their own lifestyle in later life. “Opinion is moving against [fixed retirement], but for the moment it still persists.”

Interesting. Such issues have been on mind since I read this interview yesterday. Apparently, the great Thomas Schelling could have been one of my professors, were it not for an erstwhile mandatory-retirement policy at Harvard and other universities. What a shame.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business
Robert Garcia Tagorda
About Robert Garcia Tagorda
Robert blogged prolifically at OTB from November 2004 to August 2005, when career demands took him in a different direction. He graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and earned his Master in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Comments

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  2. bryan says:

    On the other hand, there are plenty of 75 year old tenured professors who *need* to retire, but nobody can get them out the door.