WITH the changing world of work comes changing retirement.
This is a concern of the Employees Provident Fund, said its deputy chief executive officer of strategy division Tunku Alizakri Alias. “From an EPF perspective, how do we provide social security and protect those who fall out of the formal employment sector like those in the gig economy or do things in areas that are not traditionally boxed as jobs?”
There is a need to look at Malaysia’s policies in this regard, including redefining the meaning of “job” in the future, he added.
“This is something that the Government need to think about: what is a job, how do you define it?
“The definition of job from a policy perspective is that you enter into something with a contract and get rewarded for the work that you put in. Maybe in the future we need to redefine what a job is – should it be about being able to contribute and being productive, and not so much about receiving a tangible reward?”
While there will be a range of “new jobs” created by the technological developments and disruptions on the work sector, Tunku Alizakri believes attention also needs to be given to traditionally unpaid work like homemaking.
“We need to look at the traditional work that were never seen as valuable like that of homemakers’. Why are we not putting a value on it? Why can’t we compensate the homemakers? How can we protect the workers who are doing this job?”
Tunku Alizakri also cited Malaysia’s attitude towards ageing as a concern for Malaysia’s preparedness for the future.
“In Malaysia our average life expectancy is 75 years old, and we keep on thinking that people aged 60 and above are already old and useless and should be put out to pasture.
“But if we continue like that, can you imagine how someone who is retired at 60, living right up to 75 on a government infrastructure that does not have enough funds, sustain their quality of life?
“At the same time we lose out on the productive years that they will still be able to offer; at 60 to 65, people are usually still productive and if we don’t tap into their productivity, the government will lose out.
“But our government infrastructure at this time does not take into account the new business models and the already arising longevity issues,” he said, underlining the importance of the Government acting fast to meet the challenges. Another issue is whether the grey sociey can adjust and adapt o the rapidly changing world.
“As the world gets older, how can society adapt to the technological changes that we are seeing today?,” posed The Star’s Features Editor, Business, Jagdev Singh Sidhu at The EPF-The Star Roundtable on “The Future of work: Preparing for tomorrow today”, that he was moderating.
Willis Towers Watson managing director and global practice leader Ravin Jesuthasan said we should learn from the golden generation of the United States who have enthusiastically embraced technology.
“The rate at which retirees there have embraced talent platforms have made them one of the top ten groups on the platform.
“Their willingness to move on and take on the gig economy is interesting, particularly when we still have communities that are calibrated to jobs until the fixed retirement age.”
Now that we are living longer, the productive use of human capital, whether at individual or country level, has huge implications on retirement, Ravin added, “And it will help us look at how we can sustain the older generation, especially in ageing societies and mature economies.”