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Adding Life to Retirement Years by The Hon. Tam Yiu Chung Chairman, Elderly Commission 15 February 2003. Topics: Background and Introduction Contribution of Older Persons to Society Retirement Age Senior Volunteerism Preparation for Retirement Intergenerational Relationship and

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Adding Life to Retirement Years

by

The Hon. Tam Yiu Chung

Chairman, Elderly Commission

15 February 2003

slide2

Topics:

  • Background and Introduction
  • Contribution of Older Persons to Society
  • Retirement Age
  • Senior Volunteerism
  • Preparation for Retirement
  • Intergenerational Relationship and
  • Continuing Education
  • Way Forward
slide3

21%

24.3%

17.2%

14.4%

12.2%

11.9%

11.2%

10.2%

Source: Census and Statistics Department

slide5

Population Ageing is first and foremost a success story for public health policies as well as social and economic development…

Gro Harlem Brundtland, WHO Director General

elderly commission symposium on challenges and opportunities of an ageing population 8 june 2002
Elderly Commission: Symposium on “Challenges and Opportunities of an Ageing Population” 8 June 2002
  • first of its kind in Hong Kong, a multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary approach to discuss the implications of population ageing
elderly commission symposium on challenges and opportunities of an ageing population 8 june 20021
Elderly Commission: Symposium on “Challenges and Opportunities of an Ageing Population” 8 June 2002
  • policy framework for an ageing society
  • economic and business perspectives of population ageing
  • public perception of ageing
  • changing workforce and concept of retirement
  • built environment
  • changing healthcare focus
slide9

Elderly Dependency Ratio

  • the number of persons aged 65 and over per 1,000
  • persons aged between 15 and 64
  • people in the age group of 15 to 64 years old
  • support persons aged 65 or over
  • assumption: as population ages, fewer workers to
  • support more older persons
slide10

But the question is:

are societal wealth and productivity only

generated by persons in the age group of 15 to 64?

slide11

The fact is, older persons are going to be:

        • more healthy
        • better educated
  • and will aspire to play a different role in society
slide12
……not so long ago, “a report of the League of Nations, in anticipation of post World War II labour requirements, described population aging as a major problem for industrial economies where maximum productivity was thought to be reached by ‘men under 35’…
slide13

Research shows:

  • older workers are usually willing and

enthusiastic about learning new skills

  • older workers can learn, although
  • training techniques may need to be adapted
  • lower absenteeism and staff turnover
  • among older workers
slide14

Research shows:

initial cognitive functioning of most individuals is higher than that needed for most ordinary tasks

older persons are still fit to work at 75 years of age with their IQ and EQ intact

while some older workers may be less flexible and adaptable, they are more reliable, conscientious, and loyal

slide15

Employment of older people can be a very positive socio-economic factor. Older workers:

  • continue to pay taxes
  • contribute to retirement fund schemes
  • generate wealth for themselves and society

Being employed enhance personal dignity and keep people out of poverty.

slide17

“Retirement age” came into being in about 1889

  • at the time the average life expectancy was 55 years
  • manual labour was the norm
  • life in retirement was much shorter
slide18

Today Hong Kong’s average life expectancy

  • for men and women are 78.4 and 84.6 years
  • respectively:
  • with people living longer, healthier lives,

can we afford to spend less time working

and ever more time in retirement?

retirement age in
Retirement Age in
  • USA - being gradually raised to 67 years
  • Japan – 69 years
  • Korea - 67 years
flexible or part time work arrangements for older persons
Flexible or part-time work arrangements for older persons -
  • would not block the advancement of younger workers, while retaining valuable insight and expertise for the employer
  • likely to become a necessity as the population ages
slide21
a study has shown that “late retirees” who retired after the age of 65 tended to die within two years after retirement (Sing Lin, Ph.D, Mar 2002 “Optimum Strategies for Creativity and Longevity” )
  • but other studies also show that people who retire earlier also die earlier
slide22

important message is that we should all take care of our health, have proper leisure and relaxation throughout life

  • people should be given a choice as to whether or not to retire, or to continue working part- time
change society s attitude towards retirement and retirement practices
Change society’s attitude towards retirement and retirement practices -
  • consider how employment practices could be reinvented so that older persons can continue working to the benefit of the employers, themselves and society at large
slide25

Senior Volunteerism

Apart from paid employment, older persons can

still make positive and productive contribution to

society through volunteer work.

senior volunteerism
Senior Volunteerism
  • over 200 000 volunteers, many of them are older persons, in non-governmental sector
  • 12 000 elder volunteers in Social Welfare Department’s Senior Volunteer Programme
  • 1 000 elder health ambassadors in Elderly Commission’s Community Partnership Scheme projects
slide27
the contribution of volunteer work are estimated at between 8% and 14% of Gross Domestic Product
  • consider ways to recognize the value of voluntary work by older persons in Hong Kong
volunteering as a broader community investment strategy and means of staff development
Volunteeringas a broader community investment strategy and means of staff development
  • time‑off with pay for their staff
  • financial support or assistance in kind
  • company volunteering schemes
  • recognize and support existing staff involvement with voluntary organizations
slide29
Opportunities for retiree professionals to share their experience and serve the community in sectors that are usually not involved in ageing related issues
preparation for retirement
Preparation for Retirement
  • exit programmes for retiring employees for active and healthy ageing
  • healthy and active retirees lessen demands on public medical and social services
  • generate business opportunities: investment management, travel services, health products, etc.
slide31
Intergenerational Relationship
  • Continuing Education
  • Reinvest in Ageing
slide32

Decrease in average household size and

Increase in households with persons 65+

intergenerational gap
Intergenerational Gap
  • growing segregation of the older and younger generations in the domestic setting
  • the chasm made greater with the digital gap
  • dwindling interaction between different age groups
  • deterioration in the younger generation’s perception of older people
continuing education
Continuing Education
  • older persons pursue lifelong learning –

update themselves and keep up with technological advances in every day living

  • self-enrichment –

reconstruct the image of ageing and improve intergenerational connectivity

reinvest in ageing
Reinvest in Ageing
  • compartmentalized life course:

- education when young

- work in adulthood

- leisure after retirement

reinvest in ageing1
Reinvest in Ageing
  • integrated life course-

lifelong learning interspersed with periods of work and leisure and self-reflection

  • promotion of lifelong learning among elders-

joint process of individuals, families, communities and Government

elderly commission
Elderly Commission
  • advocate preventive and life-course approach in health and positive image of ageing in the Healthy Ageing Campaign
  • promote active and healthy ageing according to the World Health Organization Policy Framework on Active Ageing
initiatives to be considered
Initiatives to be considered
  • rethinking retirement and human resources practices
  • review volunteering activities for older persons and explore new opportunities
initiatives to be considered1
Initiatives to be considered
  • demonstration projects in cultural, arts and sports arena to highlight the abilities of active, healthy and creative older persons
  • encourage lifelong learning programmes and promote intersectoral collaboration in the provision of lifelong learning opportunities for older persons
slide40
The challenge:
    • to socially evolve in a forward-looking, sustainable manner
    • add life to years after adding years to life
    • transition into a satisfying retirement in old age
    • a win-win situation for older persons and the rest of society