Does mandatory retirement after a certain age make any sense?

diblue

What kind of logic is this – People are unfit to be clerks in Government offices after 60 years (of age), but they can become MLA’s, MP’s, CM, President and Prime Minister at any age. Most of our politicians are aged over 60 years!

I am not here to argue that people should not become a politician after 60. But, as a leader of the people, don’t they have an obligation to set an example for others to follow?

Hence, either:

  • Introduce a retirement age for politicians, which is same as the retirement age of all Government employees (or)
  • Take away the mandatory retirement age for people in Government/private offices

Making people retire compulsorily after a certain age is age-discrimination. I am not saying that people are fit to do any type of job at any age. But, how can a specific age be used to determine what one is able to do/not able to do?

Don’t we see people over 60 who are very much fit and can work for a few more years? Don’t we see people at 50 who are not able to work to their full potential? So, obviously age cannot be a factor in determining retirement. It has to be handled on an individual case-to-case basis.

In fact, the concept of compulsory retirement based on age is unlawful in many countries like the US, Australia (except for certain physically demanding positions like military), etc. Even countries like UK and Canada (where the retirement age is 65), are banning legislations that mandate retirement based on a specific age.

This mandatory retirement age is also present is private companies. I think it’s around 60 in most big companies, but it seems that private companies can set their own retirement age. Some employers keep people even after their official retirement age (sometimes on contract or sometimes with strange designations like Associate VP, etc), but this is not always the case.

I feel that retirement should be voluntary. People should themselves take the decision (based on their health conditions, financial stability, inability to work, etc). Maybe they can even be reallocated to some other department that is physically/mentally less taxing. But what’s the point of sending them out after 60? Will other companies hire anyone at that age (assuming people want to work for a few more years)?

Also, don’t you think 60 is too early? Shouldn’t the retirement age be at least 65(if there should be a mandatory retirement age), considering that average life expectancy keeps increasing with every passing generation?

What do you people think about the mandatory retirement age?

Destination Infinity

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24 Replies to “Does mandatory retirement after a certain age make any sense?”

  1. Very true DI. They cannot stop someone from working and put age as a bar for this. And it totally annoys me to see the politicians who work even after 60 years. And that too we have politicians at 80 yrs of age isn’t it? The government cannot discriminate anyone by age. So, I am thumbs up for scrapping off this stupid rule.

  2. I totally agree with your views. Its a mere discrimination between people. Able bodied should be allowed to work till they wish or the mandatory limit should be extended to at least 65 as you said. Its a news to me that its unlawful in US, Australia etc.

    If it is not agreeable to the rulers, them they should chuck out all the politicians beyond 60 with immediate effect.

    1. One of the things that Anna Hazare is fighting for, is retirement age for politicians. People who need to retire, don’t and people who need to work, retire!

      Destination Infinity

  3. I agree. Mandatory retirement is like telling the person you are not good enough to work. It should be more about the wishes of the person and his dedication to the work.

    1. It will be good if retirement is based totally on case-to-case basis. But knowing the way in which our companies run, there will be discrimination anyway.

      Destination Infinity

  4. This definitely makes sense….
    “People are unfit to be clerks in Government offices after 60 years (of age), but they can become MLA’s, MP’s, CM, President and Prime Minister at any age. Most of our politicians are aged over 60 years!”
    It feels so right to give people the power to retire at the age they think is right.
    But there is a catch here, there are only N number of jobs available and so many people are unemployed. Even in the countries like U.S. and Australia, the unemployment rate is higher. So in such a scenario it makes sense for the seniours to step down by retiring and give the juniours a chance to join the work force or move forward.
    I am not sure, what will be the right solution, but if we get high employment ratio along with the power to retire at any age then it will be an ideal situation πŸ™‚

    1. Some people may take voluntary retirement at an early age (due to health reasons, etc). That should balance it out, but I don’t know how much it’ll work. I seriously think that the mandatory age of 60 should be reviewed, at least.

      Destination Infinity

  5. I agree with your viewpoint. Unless the person is not able to deliver, why oust him/her at all?

    And all the qualms of increasin dependent population and blah – hightime we refined our policies and ways of thinking. but I wonder how we can go about introducing such a reform. A bill? And a fight? Dialogues stretching to eternity? How? Just how?

    1. We initiate discussions, debate whether it’s right or wrong, create awareness, and people to whom it matters the most will have to take it up and fight for it. That’s the way democracy is supposed to work. After all, senior citizens also have their votes!

      Destination Infinity

    1. Voluntary retirement is a good idea. Let the person involved decide when they want to retire. But then, as we know with these things, decisions are generally made for them. They can be forced for ‘voluntary retirement’ as well.

      Destination Infinity

  6. DI there is only one catch that I see against retiring at 60 years. Although a person may be fit but teeming millions of unemployed youngsters are awaiting jobs! They would be denied this if the succession planning is not done!

    1. I don’t think everyone needs to stay on. Some of them can retire earlier, some of them can retire by 60/65 and a few people might stay on (if they require the money provided by the job, and they are able to work). Ideally there should be a balance, but we never know how it will work out practically.

      Destination Infinity

  7. Rajesh,
    that is a really good point that you have here. I think most politicians can’t retire because they are involved in too many scams and they have to be on top of everything. When they get exposed or involved in a huge scandal, that is when they retire. Just an opinion:)

    1. Some of them don’t retire even after that because its difficult to defend themselves when they are ‘out of power’.

      Destination Infinity

    1. Yeah, we can also look at this in that angle. But are there any scientific studies that prove that people after a certain amount of age are unproductive, etc? I guess these things depend on the individuals. I would rather like to see normal people being allowed to retire voluntarily.

      Destination Infinity

  8. My husband is 66 and still working and plan to retire in a few months. My sis in law got voluntary retirement when she was 58. Other people too go for voluntary retirement early nowadays. Some people start business with the VR money. VRS is the best way to retire.

    Even at 90 politicians don’t want to quit!

    1. We need to have a more comprehensive voluntary retirement policy instead of the current mandatory retirement (I feel).

      Destination Infinity

  9. Though there is merit in your argument,it is not a practical proposition to allow people to work beyond certain age in government and private employment.The reason is simple that unlike the West where the population is less,in India the unemployment is high.The old should make way for the young in all walks of life including sports.There is no gainsaying the fact that the productivity of the younger is much more than the old in general.The wisdom of the old is suspect.
    Politicians are in a different league altogether and normal rules do not apply to them !!!

    1. Especially sports? But then in sports it’s difficult to stay on unless one’s name is ‘sachin tendulkar’ because performance automatically decreases after a certain age (except for games like chess, etc).

      Older people may not be fit for certain types of jobs, but they might be able to do other jobs. I do agree that young people need to move up the ladder, thereby creating jobs at the lower level. I think that instead of retiring based on age, retirement could be made voluntary with many benefits so that people might want to retire at a younger age (who can’t work) or older age, as they see fit.

      Of course, all this is fine in an ideal world but I am not sure how much can be implemented practically.

      Destination Infinity

  10. i believe it was last year when a veteran actor won oscar not for lifetime award category but for supporting actor category which shows people continue working even when they cross their retiring limits abroad.. but in India people wait for 60 to come so that they can sit back and enjoy govt. care !

  11. My uncle works with a private company but he has been allowed to continue on contract because the company liked his work and he has been there for more than a decade by now.

    55+ or something like that should be set like a voluntary retirement age, but those who choose to carry on (and are healthy as well, both mind and body) should be allowed to work. That’s what I feel.

    As for politicians, for some people it takes till 60 to work your way up and get to the top after all that bureaucracy!! πŸ˜› Hence no limit πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

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