Age no bar­rier in jobs mar­ket

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­THONY KEANE

OLDER Aus­tralians are in no rush to re­tire as fi­nan­cial fac­tors prompt many to stay in the work­force longer.

New re­search by the Com­mon­wealth Bank and the Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Coun­cil shows al­most three- quar­ters of older work­ers are keen to keep work­ing, and age dis­crim­i­na­tion against them is fall­ing.

Money is still the driv­ing force for the ma­jor­ity of work­ers aged 50 to 74, with 38 per cent say­ing they work for fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity and another 23 per cent say­ing they do not have enough money to re­tire.

The re­port says peo­ple’s hap­pi­ness about work­ing well into their 60s has in­creased dra­mat­i­cally in the past three years, and over half of 70 to 75year- olds have ex­pressed some level of in­ter­est in work­ing.

“Re­tire­ment at 60 – un­less it is due to poor health or car­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties – is be­gin­ning to seem re­dun­dant,” said Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Coun­cil CEO Sally Loane.

The pro­por­tion of older peo­ple who have ex­pe­ri­enced age- re­lated dis­crim­i­na­tion at work has more than halved since 2012, from 28 per cent to 13 per cent.

Ms Loane said this fall was “pleas­ing” and re­flected chang­ing at­ti­tudes among both em­ploy­ers and em­ploy­ees. She said this year’s In­ter­gen­er­a­tional Re­port showed Aus­tralians would be liv­ing and work­ing longer and had changed the de­bate around older work­ers.

“Gen­er­a­tion X are turn­ing

We need older peo­ple work­ing longer. It’s an eco­nomic im­per­a­tive. It’s not ne­go­tiable


50 this year and that’s in­tro­duced a new co­hort – they’re now an older worker,” she said.

The Com­mon­wealth Bank’s gen­eral man­ager re­tire­ment, Ni­co­lette Ru­bin­sztein, said flex­i­ble work­place ar­range­ments – such as part- time and work­ing- from- home op­tions, were at­tract­ing older work­ers.

She said while many peo­ple were re­al­is­ing that they did not have enough money to sus­tain their level of in­come in re­tire­ment, oth­ers were work­ing longer for per­sonal en­joy­ment, ac­com­plish­ment or a sense of be­long­ing.

Ms Ru­bin­sztein said keep­ing older Aus­tralians em­ployed was good for the econ­omy.

“We need older peo­ple work­ing longer. It’s an eco­nomic im­per­a­tive. It’s not ne­go­tiable,” she said.

“Sup­port­ing older work­ers in the work­force and en­sur­ing that more re­tirees are self­funded is an im­por­tant way of re­duc­ing the costs to Gov­ern­ment.”

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