Working Past Retirement Age - It's Not Just About The Money

It’s well-known that Australia has an ageing population, with the number of Australians aged 65 and over set to double by 2057. (Source: AIHW).

A 2021 ABS report revealed that in the 20 years leading up to April 2021, the workforce participation rate of older Australians more than doubled – from 6.1% in 2001 to 15% in 2021.

What does this mean for our workforce, and for those approaching the end of their working lives, which traditionally end when workers can start to access their superannuation and the age pension?

Many older Australians are choosing to work longer -either by choice or due to financial necessity.

Whatever the reasons for choosing to continue to work past retirement age, there are benefits for both employees and for employers.

Life expectancy

Life expectancy in Australia has improved dramatically for both sexes in the last century. The average life expectancy for men is currently 81.2 years and for women it is 85.3 years. (Source: AIHW.gov.au)

With people living into their 80s and beyond, the traditional retirement age of 60 or 65 is now being pushed out.

Better healthcare and education

In our current age, access to education has meant white-collar, non-manual-labour jobs for more people than ever before.

With our population being able to access high-quality healthcare, we are able to remain physically and mentally active for longer.

Outliving our savings

In our current age, access to education has meant white-collar, non-manual-labour jobs for more people than ever before.

With our population being able to access high-quality healthcare, we are able to remain physically and mentally active for longer.

The benefits of continuing to work

Social Interaction

Social isolation and loneliness can be harmful to both physical and mental health. One quarter of Australian households consist of a single person (source: 2106 Census of Population and Housing) which means the potential for loneliness is significant.

Having a part-time job increases the opportunities for social interaction, social activities and forming friendship groups, all which can result in decreased social interaction and loneliness.

Additional income

Working later in life may be a financial necessity for many Australians. Figures from a 2109 report by  The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia show that the average super balance for Australians nearing retirement age (aged 60-64) is $154,452 for men and $122,840 for women.

Retirees may choose to draw down their super may and also receive a part-pension, or may to stay in the workforce to supplement their retirement income.

Growth, development and change

Staying on at work as you approach or pass retirement age – or learning the skills and responsibilities associated with a new job – provides mental stimulation, growth and personal development and can stave off the boredom and lack of purpose which can afflict many retirees.

Why Employ an Older Worker?

The benefits of a diverse workforce are well-documented – but in practical terms, what benefits can an older worker bring to an employer?

Wisdom and Judgement

Decades of experience (both in the workforce and in life) can mean your employees can relate to your clients better, provide better customer service and bring some well-developed problem-solving and conflict resolutions skills to their job

Stability

An older person who no longer has the demands of child-rearing or the same level of ambition and restlessness is likely to stick around longer, providing stability and guidance to younger team members

Everything old is new again

Whatever the problem is, it’s likely your more mature employees have seen it before. This is a lot of collective wisdom and experience to access

Are you still working and feeling stressed at the thought of moving or relocating yourself or a loved one?

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Get in touch today – we look forward to helping you.

Call us on 1300 158 432.

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