So, your 65th birthday has come and gone, but you’re not ready to hang up your hat. Perhaps you need to keep working to help support family members. Or maybe you’ve tried retirement and found it boring, like the character played by Robert de Niro (Ben Whittaker) in The Intern.
Whatever reason you have for continuing or returning to work, the good news is there has never been as much support for older workers in the labour force as there is today.
For starters, government efforts to encourage the hiring of mature-aged staff can see some employers receive subsidies of up to $10,000.
And a few employers are even straining to recruit mature staff, like a restaurant and bar that pitched its job ad thus: “Did you live large in the 70s?” It hopes to entice a chef and waiting staff by describing a venue that will have a “fun, relaxed retro vibe with a cool 70s playlist”.
The jobs advertised on olderworkers.com.au range across a broad spectrum, from a tow truck driver to a sales consultant at an Apple store. Employers who advertise are encouraged to sign a pledge that they will foster an age-friendly workplace. Among them are giant corporates such as Woolworths, Telstra and BP Australia.
If you truly enjoy your job, no matter what your age, the benefits you reap will be patent. Apart from a regular pay packet there is the boost to wellbeing, self-confidence that comes from being valued by an employer, better mental health from regularly leaving the house and mixing with people … and the list goes on.
And, if you have already reached pension age, there’s a nice little surprise in the form of the Work Bonus. This Centrelink initiative allows older Australians to earn up to $250 a fortnight and still receive the full Age Pension. That is around $6500 a year that will not be counted in the income test.
Do you wish you were still employed? Has part-time work affected your eligibility for the Age Pension?