|Front page of the Malay Mail today (14 June 2012)|
A bit too late for me, but good news for those about to reach the current retirement age of 55 for the private sector. An extra five years can mean additional money for our golden nest. With the ever spiraling cost of living eating into our limited retirement savings, every ringgit counts.
Our generation of baby boomers (those born between 1946-1964) are enjoying longer life expectancy, with 76 years the average for Malaysians. It is ridiculous to retire employees when they reach 55. How are they going to support themselves for the next 20 years or more? How many of us would have at least RM1 million in our EPF at age 55? That's the minimum we would need to continue maintaining our current lifestyle after retirement. Those who withdraw all their EPF savings in one lump sum will use it all up within three years. These are statistics released by EPF based on surveys they have conducted.
|From a slide presentation given in June 2010 by EPF's general manager. The figures have probably gone up since then given the escalating cost of living.|
Older workers, both professionals and blue collar employees face age discrimination. If you are retrenched or retired, the odds are against you when it comes to re-employment. That is why many use their retirement savings to start their own business and become self-employed.
However, not everyone is in favour of raising the retirement age. There are older folks who can't wait to withdraw all their EPF money for whatever personal reasons. After all, it is their hard-earned money and they have a right to do whatever they want with it. They don't want to wait another five years to be able to do so.
There are also the younger work force who argue that retaining older staff means depriving them of career advancement opportunities. Think of it this way. Wouldn't they want their parents to be financially independent for as long as possible?
We can look at the issue from all angles, but in the end, the pros of raising the retirement age far outweigh the cons. This issue has been covered numerous times on this blog. Here is a sampling - click on the links to read.
A Daily Struggle To Survive
Can We Afford To Retire?
Not Ready To Be Put Out To Pasture
In Praise of Older Workers