Sunday, January 15, 2006

work after retirement

A survey reported in Modern Maturity, the magazine of the American Association of Retired Persons, suggests that people who work beyond retirement age do so most often in jobs that give them freedom, challenge, and creative opportunities. Statistics show that nearly half the men working past age 65 are in occupations that the U.S. Labor Department labels as "sales," 16 percent are in executive positions, 15 percent in administrative and managerial capacities, and 14 percent in professions. Women in the present 65 generation generally did not have the opportunity to enter professions or the managerial and administrative ranks, so most who continue to work occupy service-oriented jobs.
According to this article, the trend toward automation will replace jobs that are stressful, boring, or repetitive with more interesting work. Future job growth will occur most rapidly in human service fields, financial areas, health care, retailing, and restaurant work. Older workers who work in these capacities may be especially welcome simply because they will often be providing services to people in their own age group. Recent trends have also seen a partial reversal of Social Security policies respecting pre- and postretirement work. Individuals in the future will gain more by delaying retirement and will be able to earn more after age 65 than they have in the past. For example, people now add an additional 3 percent in Social Security benefits for each year worked between age 65 and age 70. While the amount of earnings permitted without reduction in Social Security benefits is now $1 for every $3 earned, the level of earnings on which this rule applies increases with growth in average wages (the $8,440 allowed in 1988 rose to $8,800 in 1989 and $9,360 in 1990), and a group in Congress has introduced The Older Americans Freedom to Work Act, which aims to remove all earnings limits for persons age 65 and older. Further, to conserve the valuable human capital resources of the older generation, government and private employers are beginning to increase training opportunities for those nearing retirement.
Under a provision of the Employee Retirement Insurance Security Act, pensions must become portable (transferable with individuals when they leave an employer), and it is expected that some older workers will leave career jobs to start their own companies; or, they may search out opportunities in job markets where the monetary benefits are less but the work is more satisfying.
"The Advent of the Gold-Collar Worker." Modern Maturity (October-November, 1986).

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