Retiring at 60 a pipedream

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The Financial Services Council and the Commonwealth Bank released the FSC–CBA Older Workers Report yesterday. The report has found that the notion of retiring at 60 is becoming unrealistic, with 76 per cent of 60–69 year olds and 57 per cent of 70–75 year olds still willing to work.

Financial security and not having enough money to retire were the two biggest factors influencing Australians over 60 to continue working. This reinforces the findings of the 2015 Intergenerational Report, which suggests Australians will need to work longer in order to maintain financial health.

The 2015 report also saw a significant shift in age discrimination towards older workers with 13 per cent of respondents reporting age-based discrimination in the workplace compared with 28 per cent in 2012.

“People in that age group are starting to realise they literally do not have enough money to sustain that level of income in retirement,” said the Commonwealth Bank’s General Manager Retirement Nicolette Rubinsztein.

“Supporting older workers in the workforce is paramount to addressing our longevity challenges and maintaining the health of our retirement system,” said Rubinsztein.

“We are beginning to see a positive shift in how society and the workplace values older workers” said Financial Services Council Chief Executive Sally Loane. “Employers are increasingly embracing the unique skills and experience that older workers contribute and are introducing programs to train and retrain mature staff.”

Read more from the Financial Services Council
Read more from the Gold Coast Bulletin
Read more from The Age

Opinion: A changing retirement landscape

The latest figures released in the FSC–CBA Older Workers Report yesterday probably won’t shock anyone. Many older Australians who face an uncertain entitlement future are willing to work longer to sure up their retirement as they continue to live longer lives than any previous generation.

The introduction of compulsory superannuation has, to an extent, eased the financial burden of retirement, but the average Australian will still need to work well into their 60s and potentially even 70s if they wish to maintain a comfortable retirement.

If older Australians are to continue to work longer, then it is imperative that the problem of age discrimination in the workplace is addressed, so that mature employees can continue to work in a comfortable and accepting environment.

Are you still working or plan to work into your 60s and 70s? If so, what motivates you to continue working? Do you enjoy working at your age and stage of life? When are you looking to retire, if at all? 

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Written by Drew

Starting out as a week of work experience in 2005 while studying his Bachelor of Business at Swinburne University, Drew has never left his post and has been with the company ever since, working on the websites digital needs. Drew has a passion for all things technology which is only rivalled for his love of all things sport (watching, not playing).


Total Comments: 67
  1. 0

    In 1996, along with the rest of the company I was working for, I was made redundant. I tried for four months to get work in Melbourne and Perth, but was considered too old. I moved to Thailand, found suitable employment, and continued to work until I was 67.

    I was then treated as a second class citizen, and had to return to Australia to qialify to get my pension made portable.

    The government can move ages around, but is in the employers who need to change their attitude towards older employees.

    • 0

      I was led to believe that ‘discrimination’ was illegal…but I guess it depends on who you are.

      The whole issue of not having enough money to retire on brings back the promises of the superannuation salesmen 25 years ago. These people sold the dream (lie?) that people would have heaps of money to retire on if they took up superannuation. Many did.

  2. 0

    …….. please explain to me – “What is retirement”?
    Now they don’t make rocking chairs anymore does the concept have any validity at all?

  3. 0

    I just wish I could get a job!

    • 0

      Have you tried an agency or two.
      You would have to perhaps promote yourself,
      Ive got a mate who did just that at 58 years of age which is not to bad.

    • 0

      Job agencies don’t find you work. That is something you have to do yourself and they take the credit for you efforts. The government rewards them with $ for doing nothing. Job agencies cost tax payers more than dole bludgers.

  4. 0

    The problem is a whole lot bigger than you make out. Just think through the implications and see what is happening to our senior people. Discrimination against older workers is only one of the growing signs that our Australian society is breaking down.

    Governments and employers just don’t care so much any more. They have other priorities such as making profit or winning elections. Short term gain when more emphasis should be placed on long term benefit for all of us.

    • 0

      ……. here here.

    • 0

      The only discrimination I’ve ever had because of my age is positive discrimination. If you don’t take some responsibility and expect everything to be handed to you on a silver platter then I expect that is what happens.

    • 0

      Try applying for a job Bonny. Many older Australians could tell you how this goes.

    • 0

      That’s good – what are your proposals?

    • 0

      One swallow doesn’t make a summer, Bonny. People suffer discrimination based on a combination of factors, age being a significant one but the problems are compounded by lack of education, outdated skills, ill-health, disabilities, deteriorating memory, and all sorts of other age, health, and/or privilege-related issues. It’s nothing to do with taking responsibility or expectations, and it’s cruel and heartless to make such implications. Have some empathy. Many people are willing to work and try very hard to find opportunities, but face obstacles that prove insurmountable.

      Clearly, you don’t understand the issues faced by those who have been socially disenfranchised due to health, mental capacity, education, or the after-effects of childhood trauma or poverty. Sad that some people can’t be open-minded and caring.

  5. 0

    If I had remained in Australia after being regarded as too old, I hate to think where I’d be now.

    Probably waltzing matilda and sleeping on park benches!

    I refused to be put out to grass and ended up finding work overseas. Now my impending retirement back in Oz will be one with dignity.

    The grass can be greener on the other side!

  6. 0

    I retired at the age of 56 y.o. and have never looked back nor wanted further employment. I can be busy or make myself busy (there IS a difference) or do nothing, be alone or with my wife and/or other people and be completely content. What I have I have worked long and hard for and had the foresight to plan and save for retirement. I am one of the “lucky ones” who has made my own luck with a bit of reading and research on how to make and increase a dollar. Many of you will know what I mean. But, these times of opportunity are waning quickly and mostly because of government and RBA policies. I was born before the “Baby Boomer” generation and am glad of that for I have seen some great years of opportunity. Life is good.

    • 0

      good on you hope you keep it up cheers

    • 0

      Interesting observations Eddie. Opportunity is still there but so are the pitfalls. Bu always remember that life goes on and that what is now bad will tomorrow be good. The recent run in residential real estate should be the obvious example of that.
      Enjoy the retirement.

  7. 0

    I am posting on behalf of Willing Older Workers W.O.W! Inc. Run by Volunteers, and with no government funding, we are a charity that provides practical assistance to people who are over 50 and unemployed. The number of people contacting us, asking if we can help them get work is increasing, yet we are not a job provider. They want to work and want job security.

  8. 0

    I’m retiring at 61 because I would otherwise be on disability. We won’t be rich but we will be OK. The answer is reliable super (fight for that) and being debt free in your own home. I won’t get any help from the government for five years but I’m happy to have a quiet life.

    • 0

      I retired at 63 no gvt support using my own super.had a cussy gvt job BUT I was driving 4hrs daily to work and I got to the stage I eas better of dead I had no life dark when I left dsrk when I came home so I haf enough and retired I have nevet regretted it

  9. 0

    Maybe people need to rethink what comfortable means. Do we need a lot of the stuff to be happy?

    • 0

      I agree. People just want too much stuff today that they don’t really need.

    • 0

      I too agree, many people seem to find happiness in bigger cars, bigger houses, more this and more that. Not me, I have been downsizing everything for years and never happier. Mind you, I wouldn’t want to be without my bicycle!

  10. 0

    Just want to know if people go overseas because they cant get work why do they come back to Australia to get the pension why not just go stay in the wonderful country that they got work in then if we had less people maybe there would be more jobs ,but I do agree with the person who said “
    Governments and employers just don’t care so much any more. They have other priorities such as making profit or winning elections. Short term gain when more emphasis should be placed on long term benefit for all of us. “

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