Fast Company

You're Retired!

Helmut Panke, CEO of BMW, is scheduled to retire Sept. 1. He doesn't want to, but at BMW, retirement at 60 is mandatory.

Marshall Goldsmith suggests that retirement is a bad idea. In fact, fewer and fewer seniors are retiring on schedule, resulting in an increasing job shortage.

What do you think about mandatory retirement? If it's not a good policy, how might an aging workforce and the need for more jobs be better balanced? Do you think a CEO's tenure should be limited like a president's?

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10 Comments

  • balor's boy

    1. Manadatory retirement is good. Makes room for the younger generation, gets rid of dead wood. Culls the herd. Besides, who do you want operating on your spine or replacing the brakes on your kid's school bus --- an 45 your old turk or a 75 year old shaker who knows all the cool shortcuts (code for "is-in-a-fog").

    2. Anyone who supports the notion that age discrimination is rightly "illegalized" is a rotten socialist. Why should the government be allowed to stick its nose in the affairs of a private enterprise? If you don't like working for a company that age-disriminates, GO WORK FOR SOMEONE ELSE. IT'S A FREE COUNTRY. (Or at least it's suppsoed to be.)

    BTW, I am 55.

    Now, qwitcher snivelin' and get back to work if ya know what's good for ya.

  • mary tokeak

    I think that being retired at 6o years old is very awesome because this is the age that we get more confused and frustrated and wanting to stayed more longer with our sweetheart.I like to advised the rest about not refusing the retiree at 60 because it is wonderful.

  • Helene

    Christopher is right -- companies that have a large group retiring in the near to upcoming future should look at mentoring the "old geezers with the young punks." Obviously not only is age discrimination illegal (we're not going to go backwards, folks!), the retiring Boomers, what ones do retire, will leave vacancies that can be competed for. Notice the youth of today has feeling of entitlement? Not so if they have to earn degrees and compete for the jobs, gee, just like our parents did back when...

  • mahendrakumardash

    There has to be a criteria in age to retire.But few people are exceptions.Their CR file,health status and ability to work if found positive,then their services may be utilised.They may work as consultant and so on for the same company if not other.

  • roger fulton

    GREAT Theory -- ALL, but, quit your jobs, then try to interview for them and get them back. All of you forget one vital item.
    AGE DESCRIMINATION. You all talk as if you live in a vacuum. Well, Real World 101 is this: with your degrees and experience, walk back into your own HR departments and apply for your own vacancies.
    Chances are the children you employ as HR clerks never heard of your colleges (mine didn't, she thought Wharton School was an Indian Blood Disease), while Wheaton College was simply " da best!!!"
    While being offered a position as a security guard, ( I had been a divisional VP), she set me up with an interview two weeks hence after I passed a security check and a fingerprint clearance.
    "Notice I didn't say anything about your gray hair, " she threw in as I left. Never heard back from her.
    So, What does one do after " the certain age," when one can move on/up after 60 or 65??
    Hmmm?

  • FrankF

    I feel mandatory retirement is not only a bad idea, but poor policy. Our society is geared towards youth and ignores the rich resources that an aging population can and does contribute to productive business. In a way I CAN see the CEO tenure idea...would possibly keep people more focused on growing the business than pursueing other personal agendae (eg the late Ken Lay) at the expense of thousands who believed the lies and trusted the company's leadership. Perhaps the CEO could stay and contribute in some other capacity and help in that way.
    It does pose quite an interesting dilemma..cut quality for cost and inefficiency and hope for the best.

  • Christopher

    Besides focusing on what happens to the jobs they held, what about the jobs they could hold next?

    What if any entire generation of older, wiser, experienced, intelligent and capable people were unleashed with nothing to do? They would do something. I imagine some of them might start innovative companies. And if you teamed up old geezers and new punks you might be able to make some very viable businesses.

    What if the next thrust of entrepreneurship came from grandparents isntead of grandkids?

  • Dr. Gary J. MacDiarmid Sr.

    I believe that if one is health they wikk stay healthy working. All though some of our knowledge is from formal education, much is from experience. The FEDS make Retirement age in most cases 56 how stupid that is. One would think that a more mature person would add lots of value to any organiztion. Alot of us are still getting our formal Leadership Education, and now whay do you do with it.

    Dr. Gary J. MacDiarmid Sr.

  • Abby

    Oh! The inevitable fate of mandatory retirement at age 60.

    Suffice it to say, I think this is mad. I definitely think mandatory retirement is not good. We are out of step and non-competitive with the rest of the people when going this way.

    People may come forward to claim that this is to bring in social consistency, or maybe it is to make way for the younger generation

    The problem is that we now live with the famous aging population where we will have difficulty supporting the large numbers of retired parents and non-parents. Who will pay for their healthcare? Who will keep the economy growing? What will keep them healthy and happy with nothing to do for 20 - 30 years?

    By ending mandatory retirement, we will allow that generation to keep working and pay for their own healthcare. (Perhaps it will also allow them to repay their debt from the 1970s and 1980s.) It will ensure that young people can fill some new jobs and it will keep some important expertise within the workforce. Meanwhile, our parents will stay happier while working into their old age instead of sitting around with nothing to do.

    Abby