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Your views: on retaining older workers, and listening to frank advice

Reader contributions

Today, readers suggest how government can change policy to back up its own call for older workers to stay in their jobs, and lament the apparent passing of an age when governments invited independent opinion.

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Commenting on the story: Treasurer wants over-65s to keep working 

I retired earlier this year at age 75.

I could have kept working but the government has decided that, once you reach the age of 75, you can no longer salary sacrifice into your superannuation account.

This means that one cannot increase one’s potential pension. It also means that one pays a higher rate of taxation.

As usual, this government says one thing and does another. Ken Grierson

A very interesting topic that I hope my perspective as an employer, or that of a 65-year-old tradesman, may help change the mind of those who think everyone should exit the work force in their mid-sixties.

I own a plumbing business that employs 10 staff, including myself.

 I am lucky enough to have a great team of guys and girls, with one of our most valuable assets being one of our plumbers who has just celebrated his 65th birthday.

We have spoken openly about his approaching retirement next year. We do not want to lose him, and he does not want to leave our team.

The very thing that keeps him young, active and mentally fit is his job and workmates. Sure, the body has slowed down a little and rightly so, but everything that he brings to our business and the lives of his co-workers cannot be replaced by contacting an employment agency.

As an employer I do everything I can to try and make sure we limit overly physical activities within our work environment, which at times is at a cost to the business but worth every cent to retain such a fantastic employee and wealth of knowledge.

We will do what every we can to retain our retiring tradesman for as long as we can, and want him to always think of our business as being always there for his, moral , mental and financial support.

Something I would like to see is an employer subsidy to continue to support and employ an ageing employee, rather than the millions of dollars being splashed around for Newstart and other such schemes.

I think we should consider helping to keep those who, lets face it, have contributed the most in active employment.

I am by no means saying that Newstart and many other employment subsidies are not valid, as I think they are; I just think we should as a society remember the importance of the mental health and wellbeing of our seniors, whose invaluable contributions should be encouraged for as long as is possible.

A subsidy as an employer would enable a business to increase annual leave/RDO’s, absorb additional down time without financially impacting the business, purchase different plant and equipment that will make life a little easier and comfortable for the employee, and possibly even assist in training to help diversify their role within the business.  

Maturity and experience is such a valuable asset that once it’s lost, it’s lost – and cannot be replaced.

We need to do everything we can for those who are able and willing to remain productive and valued within the workforce for as long as possible. – David Tye

Commenting on the opinion piece: Up the creek: why the SA desalination deal makes no sense

It is a damned shame that our governments, politicians and their paid servants do not, will not, take the time to consult with our intelligent, properly educated people such as Lin Crase; a person from a time when our government-controlled education system educated people effectively.

It is now the time, unfortunately, of the “21st Centurions” in all spheres of human activity; the know all, no-hoper strutters.

Where are our Teutoburg Forest warrior saviours today? Well, those warriors are from a previous century, and those still alive are too infirm in body, soul and mind.

They are too weak to grab the pitchforks, let alone charge with pitchfork at the ready.

So, put the head between the knees and light the touch paper. Jim Scammell 

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