Recently we have been asked to consider a change to the retirement age.

Those who would like to work longer think this is a great idea; after all they are productive and would like contribute for longer.

Those who wouldn’t like to work longer think this is a bad idea; they don’t have the energy or the inclination and think they have contributed enough.

So our choices become do we or don’t we and we don’t get to explore other options for keeping people in the workforce longer.

Imagine a system where we valued the contribution of people older than 55, where people who were 60 were seen as an asset not a liability, where people who were 65 were measured by more than their production capacity, and where people who were 70 brought special insight to big problems.

If we really want to change the dynamic around how long people stay in the workforce we must first attribute a real value to the contribution that older people can make, not assign a new number to the retirement age which further devalues those older people.

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Written by Lisa Smith

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Lisa is a professional thinker dedicated to helping people unlock their innate creativity and to empower them to think differently – for themselves. She is passionate about building innovative cultures and about harnessing and engaging talent to create thinking communities. Lisa holds an MBA, specialising in organisational change and innovation, which forms the nucleus of her work. She relishes opportunities to share the Minds at Work thinking strategies with government bodies, socially responsible corporate, educators, community groups and farmers, helping them to turn their big ideas into realities.