英国银行业集团汇丰(HSBC)最近发布了一份题为《退休前景》(Future of Retirement)的报告。在此之前，该行在21个国家和地区对2.1万人进行了问卷调查，是同类研究中规模最大的一次。
上世纪70-80年代，各个公司针对大量年轻人失业的现实，提出了提前退休计划，目的是在公司内部给更年轻的员工腾出岗位。为汇丰银行撰写这份报告的牛津大学老年研究所(Oxford Institute of Ageing)所长莎拉•哈珀(Sarah Harper)指出，有证据表明，一些人正开始放弃提前退休的选择。
The popularity of early retirement appears to be waning as more people opt to work on into their 70s.
HSBC, the UK-based banking group, yesterday released a report entitled the “Future of Retirement”, that was the result of questioning 21,000 people in 21 countries, the largest study of its kind.
The bank found that 11 per cent of people in their 70s and a third of those in their 60s are still in some kind of paid employment. The figure is even higher in some places like the US, where 19 per cent of those in their 70s are still working.
Early retirement schemes were introduced by companies in the 1970s and 1980s as a response to mass youth unemployment, with the intention of making room in companies for younger workers. Sarah Harper, of the Oxford Institute of Ageing, which wrote the report for HSBC, said there was evidence that some people are beginning to reject early retirement as an option.
“Early retirement has since become an embedded part of the culture and of people's expectations. But there is also evidence that many who retired early have regretted it,” she said.
The study found that only 12 per cent of people in their 40s and 50s expect to take early retirement. This compares with 16 per cent of those in their 60s and 70s questioned in the report who had actually taken early retirement. Only in Germany, South Korea and Hong Kong did a higher proportion of people expect to retire earlier than had been the case in the past.
Clive Bannister, group managing director of insurance for HSBC, said that people in their 60s and 70s were often fitter and healthier than had been the case in the past, meaning they could work longer if they desired. The report calculates people aged over 60 pay £39.7bn ($78.4bn, �8.3bn) in taxes from paid employment. No comparable figures for earlier years were given.
Mr Bannister said: “In terms of health the age of 70 is the new 50. The report found retirement is as good or better than people's expectations and advances in healthcare have sustained this.”
Those questioned in the study aged between 60 and 79 years old who described themselves as being in fair, good or very good health was 86 per cent, compared with 14 per cent who believed they suffered poor or very poor health.
The highest proportions of healthy people in their 70s were in Canada with 76 per cent, the UK with 73 per cent and the US with 72 per cent.
But even those in their 70s questioned in Latin America and Asia reported low levels of poor health.
The study also found older people did unpaid voluntary work worth billions of pounds a year and also contributed as carers for relatives.
“People in their 60s and 70s are vital to our society and if they disappeared from that, families and communities and to a certain degree workplaces would fall apart,” said Prof Harper.