“Too old to work and too young to die”

The term retire is derieved from the French word “retirer”, “re” means back and “tirer” means throw. Its initial meaning was withdraw to a place of seclusion. In 1949 labour leader Walter Reuther coined the term “too old to work and too young to die”.

History of retirement

In the beginning there was no retirement. There were no old people. in the stone age everyone was fully employed until 20 by which time nearly everyone was dead.

Previously, low life expectancy and absence of pension arrangements meant that most workers continued to work until death.

Even a hundred years ago the concept of retirement did not exist.

As centuries passed, life expectancy increased, elderly population increased and by the middle ages were large in number. Retirement a new concept was introduced

Germany was the first country to introduce retirement in 1889.

Along with the German Emperor William I the German chancellor Otto van Bismark introduced a social security system and announced a pension to appeal to the German working class and combat the power of the socialist party in Germany. The age of 65 was seleted as the retirement age. Bismark knew that the program would cost little because the average German worker never reached 65, and many who did lived only a few years beyond that age.

Bismark not only co opted the Marxist, but set an arbitrary world standard for the exact age at which old age begins and established a precedent that the government should pay the people for growing old.

A person may retire whenever he/she pleases. However a country’s law decides the retirement age. This age may differ from country to country


Most employees from the organization leave their present work due to retirement. Every organization should have well defined specify rule for retirement and it should help the employees for adjusting after retirement. It is quite obvious that after rendering so many years of dedicated service to the organization, the employee expects that the organization should take care of their future. Retirement of an employee is an important event in his life and also has an important impact on the organization.

Definition of retirement

“The act of ending your working or professional career”.

According to the dictionary, is to, “withdraw from one’s position or occupation or from active working life”.

Retirement is a point where a person stops employment completely.

The definition of retirement is changing. Retirement was considered the end of things and the beginning of old age. Now since we live longer and are healthier, retirement is regarded by many as a great opportunity to do new things and find more meaning in their lives.

On a practical level, retirement is the career change an employee makes when he is no longer required to work. , retirement is the career change because it has all the practical features of a career change such as the need for planning, the need to learn about your own strengths and priorities, the need for networking, the change in income, the need to try out new things, and the choice of a new direction. To have a thieving retirement, you need to be doing something that you believe in and feels important to you.

On an emotional level, retirement is a process of letting go, followed by renewal, just like a career change. The emotions you feel upon retiring are those you might feel when you start a journey to a strange country you have never visited before. You can feel scared, uncertain and confused but then exhilarating when you become accustomed to the new territory. The emotional transition of retirement takes six to more than eighteen months, and the more you know about making the transitional trip the more you know about the new country, the better off you are.

Compulsory retirement

“Mandatory or enforced retirement is the set age at which persons who hold certain jobs or offices are required by the industry custom/rule or by law to leave their employment, or retire”.

A company which adopts compulsory retirement policy insists on all its employees retiring from their present jobs at a certain age, although sometimes they are offered re-employment in a junior capacity for a limited period.

Under this type of retirement both the employer and the employee can plan ahead more precisely.

In central and state government offices, the retirement age is 58/60 years. But in case of private organizations, employees may be given extension until they are suitable to do work.

In the past many older workers would happily watch the clock tick down on their final day on the job, dreaming of carefree days to pursue their hobbies or playing with grandchildren. Today, though, seniors are healthier, living longer and still fully engaged in their careers when they reach their retirement age. Often, they are in no hurry to leave their jobs.

The growing tendency to defer retirement leads to both financial and intellectual difficulties.

In almost all cases, the more senior the person, the higher the salary. This creates pressure on budgets that are already stretched to the limit. In some cases, the salary of one tenured employee could fund two non-tenured positions.

There are intellectual problems, too. To be candid, on jobs,  the best work of people in their late 60s and 70s is behind them, though there are exceptions,


1] Allows opportunity for employment to younger people

2] Certain occupations are either too dangerous [eg military] or high levels of physical and mental skills [air traffic controllers, pilots etc]

3] Is based on the fact that the workers productivity declines significantly after age 65, and it the employers way of avoiding reduced productivity.


1] Mandatory retirement is somewhat arbitrary and not based on physical evaluation of the employee and therefore is a form of age discrimination or ageism.

2] With increasing longevity and growing personal financial insecurity, many employees would like to defer retirement.

Forced retirement

An employee may be forced to retire from service with or without benefits on the following two occasions

1] if he is guilty in the court of law

2] if he has violated conditions mentioned in the service agreement

Pre-mature retirement

An employee may be given an option to retire from service of the organization prematurely [ie before completion of the fixed age of retirement] due to the following reasons

1] if he is disabled in an accident.

2] if he is unable to work due to some disease, bad health, family ptoblems etc.

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