You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
In some countries, the average worker is obliged to retire at the age of 50, while in others people can work until they are 65 or 70. Meanwhile, we see some politicians enjoying power well into their eighties. Clearly, there is little agreement on an appropriate retirement age. Until what age do you think people should be encouraged to remain in paid employment?
You should write at least 250 words.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Sample Answer 1:
Mandatory retirement age varies from society to society, perhaps a reflection of economics, population pressures or simply value systems. Indeed, retirement at 50 can probably be as easily justified as that at 70. It is my belief, however, that the longer an able person is allowed to work, the better for both the individual worker and the employer.
Chronological age is not always a true indicator of ability. While some 65-year-olds may not perform as well as they did in their past, many workers at this age do just as well or better than they used to. People’s suitability for a position should be a reflection of their performance in the job, rather than the number of wrinkles or grey hairs they have. Employers concerned about the increasing age of their employees need only observe their work records. Those doing poorly may be asked to retire, but those as yet unaffected by age should stay on. Indeed, it would appear economical for an organisation to retain its older employees when possible rather than spend time and money on training new workers.
Remaining in one’s job for as long as one is able makes sense as life expectancies increase around the world. As people live longer, they are longer able to contribute to society in the form of meaningful work. But they are also in need of income for a longer period, so a mandatory retirement age of 55 for someone who is statistically likely to live to 77 becomes increasingly difficult to justify. At a time when populations are ageing, governments are less able to provide for their senior citizens, so by keeping able workers in paid employment for as long as is practicable, public expenditures are less strained.
Thus, workers who can still demonstrate their capacity to carry out their work should not be asked to retire simply because they have reached a certain age. Societies that insist on early retirement may do well to look again at their policies.
(This model answer has been prepared by the site developer. However, please note that this is just one example out of many possible answers.)
Sample Answer 2:
Since the inception of human civilisation, the debate over the retirement age is widespread. Although people usually continue working after retirement, in most countries retirement is regulated. Some countries, with huge youth workforce, allow their citizens to retire early as 50. Similarly, countries that struggle with lack of workforce allow people to work more than 60 as 65 or 70 too. However, there are few occupations which demand exceptions over age limits. For example: in politics, people work with no age limit as this occupation is paramount and requires significantly long and skilled experience and in the military, servicemen are allowed to actively serve till 45 years only as the job necessitates impeccable physical fitness and dynamic adaptability.
Firstly, countries with huge youth workforce have enacted rules to force an average worker to end their careers early at an age of 50. Eminently, this decision is influenced by the requirement to engage maximum workforce to employment. Moreover, youth bring extra energy and new innovative ideas to turn jobs more productive and less costly. However, even in these countries, we find retired people working as freelancers after retirement as early retirement for most is not a rewarding experience, and in most cases, early retirement does not suffice all monetary requirements. For example: officially, China, a country with the largest youth and overall population, doesn’t allow its citizens to work after 50.
Secondly, some countries like Poland, Iceland etc. allow their citizens to work till 70 as these countries are enduring with low workforce and high ageing people, who hold a major share of the population. Obviously, this has some repercussions over the productivity. But, many people support this idea as this allows them to muster enough money and resources to spend happy and independent life afterwards. For example, Austria, a country with the highest share of senior citizens, allow people to work till 70, and in order to tackle the issue, the country has announced a skilled migration scheme to attract skilled workers from other countries.
In conclusion, I believe that a retirement age should be selected after intensive research into a country’s job market, population ratio and other factors impacting society. Also, certain occupations must be vetted differently as they required some specific skills. For example, politicians mustn’t be barred after any age, and similarly, servicemen must get retired after 50.
(by Rahul Rashu)