Learning and development for retirement

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Written by Barry Johnson on 24 August 2018

No, I am not writing about a short blitz of information for those about to draw their pensions but a real understanding for the employees who are in the care of the employing organisation. So that perhaps starts, when new employees join.

I can feel some of you shaking your heads - what a daft idea. Please note the words 'in the care of the employing organisation'. So what is the future for many employees approaching pension-age?

Some employees have a bizarre idea that they will retire sometime in their fifties. Usually, they are highly skilled, in supervisory roles or first-appointment managers. It is usual that the reality of retirement does not strike until the shadow of sixty-five years of age begins to swirl around.

Many believe they will be healthy enough to continue full-time work until they are past seventy.

The average age for a first heart attack is 66 for men and 70 for women, but the proportion of sexagenarians suffering from cancers, dementia, Parkinson’s or who have survived a stroke or heart attack has increased. The statistics are not consistent with age.

Has your organisation a health and fitness professional and access to health facilities, not just a nurse?

However, are the employees fit for work?

Those over 65 are more likely to have difficulty walking from room to room, getting in and out of bed, eating or dressing. They are also 50% more likely to have trouble walking a quarter of a mile or climbing ten steps without a rest. Stooping, crouching, kneeling and getting up from a chair prove more troublesome.

So, what can be done about this? It is an erroneous belief that the NHS will solve the problem. The NHS can and will if those who in their forties and fifties have a programme for personal health; a healthy diet, weight control, physical exercises such as jogging, swimming or regular gym exercise. Has your organisation a health and fitness professional and access to health facilities, not just a nurse?

The point I am making is to continue in employment past the ‘traditional’ retirement age does not just happen, it requires understanding of health issues, planning and physical effort.

Then, of course, there is the pension. For some, working beyond the ‘traditional’ retirement age will be an opportunity-based choice but, for others who had put off pension planning, it could be a financial necessity to cover living costs.

So, some will need to work because they haven’t prepared financially for retirement. Preparation for future security comes from understanding that they need to start building a pension pot and the younger they start, the better.

Organisations need to do what they can to ensure that employees, particularly women, are well prepared for their financial future. Yes, older males tend to pop off earlier than females. Who is responsible for ensuring the organisation’s employees have the financial and health understanding necessary for a financially secure and a physically healthy older age?

One thing is sure, whatever actions and processes are put in place by the organisation, the employees need to learn what the necessities are. Perhaps that sits in L&D.


About the author

Barry Johnson BA, CMCIPD, MCMI, is a non-executive director at Learning Partners Ltd



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