Coping With Forced Retirement


Although employees can request to work well into later life there is nothing stopping employers forcing retirement on workers aged 65 and over. Forced retirement can be stressful, and a transitional period may be required.

The Law and Forced Retirement

Many older workers are still capable and actually want to work past the national retirement age of 65 for men and 60 for women. Employees can request to stay in employment past retirement age. But employers do not have to grant this request and are not breaking European Union laws if they force retirement on employees. At present there are 1.4 million employees who have reached retirement age with no law protecting them against forced retirement.

The Effects of Forced Retirement

Forced retirement can be stressful, both emotionally and financially. Many senior citizens want to retire but simply cannot afford to. For others, forced retirement eliminates the main focus of their lives. Feelings of rejection, a loss of self worth, and stress over loss of income can often be felt if forced to retire. Coping with forced retirement will usually require an adjustment period to assess present and future possibilities.

Attitude Adjustment When Forced to Retire

Forced retirement can be a blow emotionally. Rather than seeing forced retirement as a negative it should be looked on as a fresh start. Many employers look favourably on older workers and their valuable work skills are very much in demand. Look at ways works skills can be transferred to other areas of employment throughout the job market. Forced retirement should be seen as an employer’s loss, not the employees.

Assess Financial Options on Retirement

Once forced retirement has occurred it is time to assess financial options and ask some questions. Questions should include, can I afford not to work and how financially secure am I? The answer to these questions will determine whether or not finding a new job is a priority issue. Those who are lucky enough to be financially secure may actually find that forced retirement can open up a whole new world. But for those without financial security the drop in income will need to be rebalanced.

Focus On Finding a New Job

One of the best ways to keep emotional issues at bay is to focus on finding new employment. Older workers who are receiving pensions will have more choice in terms of taking part-time or job sharing employment. Work out exactly how much income will be needed to be financially comfortable and then look at employment options. There are a number of ways to find employment and these can include:

  • Government job centres
  • Recruitment agencies
  • Online employment agencies
  • Local newspapers
  • Online working from home employment

Employment Agencies Aimed at Older Workers

There are a number of employment agencies that are designed specifically for older workers. Although the names of these agencies such as Wrinklies Direct and Dinosaurs Unlimited do sound tongue in cheek they do provide job opportunities. Many employers favour older workers due to the vast amount of skills they can bring to a work environment. Employers also see older workers as more reliable and less liable to take time off than younger workers.

Coping With Free Time When Forced to Retire

An excess of free time can seem like a burden to many retirees. For those who are financially secure enough not to have to work this is the time to look at the many leisure options available. Travel opportunities, educational courses and social activities are great ways to keep busy. Many of these activities are heavily discounted for senior citizens and some will not cost a penny. It’s not uncommon for many retirees to wonder how they had any free time when they were actually working.

Retirement and Social Networking

Coping with forced retirement can be made easier by talking with others who have been through the same thing. Get online or join social clubs for older people. This not only fills free time but can bring new opportunities when it comes to employment. This is a time when new contacts with different interests can make a big difference during retirement.

Forced retirement has happened to a great many people but keeping a positive attitude should help to banish negative thoughts. Focusing on matters that are important such as finances and employment will soon dispel any trepidation over the future. Forced retirement is not the end of the world and can be the start of a new exciting chapter filled with opportunities.

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