How Older Workers Are Defining New Terms of 'Retirement'

By Rosalie Holian, Barry Hutton and Sheila Bellamy.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In many organizations where there had been a mandatory retirement age (65), there was an option for early retirement (55) which was encouraged by employers and seen as desirable by employees. However simply having reached a specific chronological age no longer seems a valid reason for leaving the labor force given improved levels of health and longevity, as well as shortages of skilled workers. While increased longevity may be good news for aging people and their loved ones, it has also been cause for alarm regarding the provision of aged pensions and aged services. If people over 65 were unwilling to consider remaining in paid employment and preferred to take a well-earned rest, reliant on superannuation, savings and investments, or a pension, it could be difficult to persuade them otherwise. This problem may not need to be addressed if many older workers choose to stay in paid work after 55 and after 65. The findings described in this paper are drawn from interviews collected between 2008–2011, covering both future dreams of an ideal week without full-time work, as well as experiences of working after ‘retirement’, and suggest ways organizations may attract and retain valued talent of all ages

Keywords: Older Workers, Work and Life Balance, Retirement

The International Journal of Aging and Society, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.77-88. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 302.137KB).

Assoc Prof Rosalie Holian

Associate Professor, College of Business, School of Management, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Rosalie is an organizational psychologist and a faculty member of the School of Management, College of Business, RMIT University. She was previously the Director of Social Statistics and the Director of Statistical & Client Services at the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Her areas of interest include human resource management, ethical issues and decision making, and insider action research.

Dr. Barry Hutton

School of Accounting, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Barry has taught in areas of higher education for over thirty years, and currently teaches in the School of Accounting at RMIT University. He is recognized as a gifted teacher, whose students benefit from his eighteen years industry experience, much of which was spent as an entrepreneur and small business owner. He has been the recipient of a number of industry-based grants, most notably in the area of credit management and small business. He is widely published and has presented many papers at international conferences.

Prof. Sheila Bellamy

Emeritus Professor, School of Accounting, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Sheila is an emeritus professor in the College of Business at RMIT University. Although her primary discipline is accounting, her research has involved a number of cross-discipline projects with management; her Ph.D. was in the sociology of higher education. She spent some years as Head of the School of Accounting and Law and latterly as Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Business College.