Most of us work for 40 years before calling it a day.
That’s well and good, except for a little problem: with life expectancy getting longer, many of us will live another 40 more years or so after retirement without any means of income except our savings. And with today’s soaring cost of living, many of us are likely to outlive our savings.
That’s why it’s nice to learn that somewhere in Singapore, one company has taken the time to study the situation and come up with a solution.
Life insurer Prudential Singapore has decided to scrap the statutory retirement age of 62 for its staff to allow them to “fulfill their personal and financial aspirations”, according to a Straits Times report.
Starting this month, the company’s 1,100 employees can choose to extend their careers until they reach the age when they want to retire.
According to Wilf Blackburn, the insurer’s chief executive, a long retirement period could pose financial challenges, plus the fact that a prolonged period of inactivity could also lead to health and social issues.
Under the new policy, senior employees are entitled to stay on their jobs for as long as they want, provided, of course, that they perform well enough. For carrying on, they will receive the same salary and enjoy the same benefits, including medical, accorded the younger staff.
One may say that such a policy will stunt the upward mobility of staff and some medical insurers may not be too eager to accept companies with such a policy as clients, but I’m sure everyone would feel like Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, who has just retired before age 90.
It’s but proper and fitting that we give our senior workers the appreciation and respect that they deserve for spending the most productive periods of their career helping grow the company where they are employed.
The least we could do is to allow them to continue performing their duties to the utmost of their abilities and with the wisdom and experience they have accumulated over so many years. They need not have to worry about where they will get their next meal or how they will pay for their medical bills just because they are old.
We have an aging population in Hong Kong. And there is no better way to take care of our senior citizens than to let those who are still able to work to continue doing so. It’s good for their morale. It’s good for our society.
Perhaps our government officials can look at the Prudential Singapore model and see if we can adopt it here.
After all, people, like wine, get better with age.
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