Power pops and gung-ho grannies

It cuts both ways: You may already have managed someone old enough to be your grandfather, but sooner or later, according to recent research, you’ll be supervised by a friend of your granddaughter.

A report from Suncorp Superannuation released in late 2013, titled Rise of the Grudge Workforce, found that a quarter of Baby Boomers (some 1.3 million) have insufficient funds to retire and will be forced to work into their eighties just to continue to make ends meet. According to the report, only one in five Baby Boomers have saved enough to retire to this point, and 52% will be working beyond the official retirement age of 65.

Superannuation industry advisor Peter Gebert responds, “If you happen to be over 55 and hoping to be in the 48% at 65 not working, remember there is a Transition to Retirement option that might help you. Make sure you obtain the appropriate advice from your Fund to put this in place.”

Whenever I’ve been to the US in the last 10 years, it’s struck me how many more older workers there are in the US than in Australia. Come to think of it, other than at Bunnings stores around Australia, I rarely see older workers en masse.

So when I fly within the US, shop retail or check in to hotels and restaurants it’s more common to experience more wrinkles than hair serving me.  The wave of the greying workforce in the US was memorable enough for me to recall recently when I read Suncorp’s Rise of the Grudge Workforce paper.

And in light of the silent ageism that still creeps into Australians’ hiring decisions, it’s likely that there will be a seismic shift in the coming decade. The so-called Grudge Workforce is likely to bring quality experience combined with modest salary expectations and a strong will to stay employed, equating to a very attractive hiring option.

I would forecast, based on the US experience and our underfunded ageing population, that we’ll soon experience the same greying workforce in Australia.

What’s your Point of View?

Geoff Slade

(no grudges, still loving work)

Geoff Slade

Geoff Slade has worked at the forefront of the Recruitment industry for 50 years. He is the Executive Chairman of Slade Group and was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to the industry.

Geoff Slade
Chairman
Slade Group
Level 7, 15 William Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: +61 3 9235 5100
gslade@sladegroup.com.au
sladegroup.com.au

Posted in The world @work
2 comments on “Power pops and gung-ho grannies
  1. Ross Clennett says:

    Interesting point you make, Geoff, about the US having more (visibly, at least) older workers considering they have a much higher unemployment rate that Australia. I suspect the lack of universal pension/superannuation in the US (compared to Australia), as well as lower minimum wage conditions, may contribute to many more American workers continuing in paid employment past the normal retirement age.

  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this Geoff. They are alarming stats – only one in five Baby Boomers have enough saved to retire and 52% will be working beyond the official retirement age of 65. You may recall that in September 2013, Tony Abbott unveiled his plan to offer a seniors employment incentive scheme from 1 July 2014 to employers who hire older workers and keep them on for at least six months. Whilst this would be an incentive for the employer, the bigger incentive is securing a talent that brings, as you have described, “quality experience combined with modest salary expectations and a strong will to stay employed, equating to a very attractive hiring option”.

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