LETTERS | It seems that the government will consider increasing the retirement age following the suggestion by the World Bank due to improving life expectancy.
Life expectancy in Malaysia increased by almost two years over a 10-year period, from 74.31 in 2009 to 76.16 in 2019. However, we should be mindful that the move to raise the retirement age may affect our economy.
We have to come to terms with the fact that the average labor productivity starts to decline after the ages of 40 and 50.
Studies have found that aging workers are less productive.
In Europe, the ageing population may result in productivity declining by four per cent by 2035.
As workers age, they become less effective at their jobs due to their physical constraints. Therefore, it is vital for them to enter early retirement and let young workers sustain their productivity.
As many as 504,300 people who were looking for jobs could not do so in 2018, and this figure increased by 0.8 per cent to 508,200 in 2019 before Malaysia was plunged into recession in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The unemployment rate for individuals aged 15 to 24 increased from 10.7 per cent in 2016 to 11.7 per cent in 2019.
What sets alarm bells ringing when the retirement age is elevated is that the figures may rise. This does not include those who have jobs that do not fit their qualifications.
They have to unwillingly accept the jobs to put food on the table and roofs over their heads.
Their pursuit of jobs becomes more challenging when some employers prefer to employ workers with at least two to three years of experience.
The retirement age should not be revised in Malaysia to ensure that the number of unemployed young people will not be affected.
Aging workers should give a chance to young workers to have jobs and build their lives from scratch at a young age.