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Nearly 80% HR professionals support raising retirement age in HK: survey

Nearly 80 percent of Hong Kong Human Resources (HR) professionals and practitioners believe that raising retirement age is an effective measure to alleviate pressure in Hong Kong's manpower shortage, according to a recent survey by Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management (HKIHRM) .

Hong Kong does not have a standard retirement age. The Hong Kong government has decided to extend the retirement age of newly hired civil servants from 60 to 65 to encourage other employers to consider expanding the working life of their employees.

To explore the views of its members and other HR professionals on raising the retirement age, HKIHRM polled 386 members and HR professionals via an online survey from April 1 to 24. The result, made public on Monday, showed that of all the respondents, 82 percent of HR professionals supported raising the retirement age.

For those in favor of this view, 78 percent agreed that raising retirement age would be an effective measure to alleviate pressure in manpower shortage. Among them, 71 percent suggested that the retirement age could be set at 65 years old and a further 24 percent opined that the age should be extended to above 65.

As for the reasons given by the respondents to support an extended retirement age, 74 percent suggested that "they are still in good health and can work longer", 68 percent said they "wanted to be productive and contribute to the society", 66 percent said " better able to choose whether to work longer than asked to retire".

The findings also revealed that 79 percent of the respondents indicated that their employers imposed a standard retirement age for employees. Among these companies, close to two third of them required their employees to retire at 60.

David Li, President of HKIHRM said that extending the retirement age is an option which could help reduce the acute manpower shortage. It allows organizations to continue taking advantage of experienced employees.

However, companies are advised to consider if extending the retirement age would hinder the promotion of younger employees. They should also have a succession plan in place to ensure business continuity, Li added.



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