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We’re back and thinking about retirement (from a research perspective)

by on April 11, 2016

We’re back from our Easter break and we’ve been thinking about retirement. From a research (rather than a personal) perspective…

We spotted this item in The New India Express with the headline ‘Too Young to Retire, Too Old to Judge‘. It examines a recent application to the Indian Supreme Court to raise the retirement age of judges. Most interestingly, the author (who is a senior advocate in the Supreme Court) describes this as akin to asking a ‘body to decide on an additional benefit to themselves’ – in other words, that an increase in retirement age would represent a perk.

This goes to the heart of what is an extremely complex picture regarding retirement, not just in India but more widely, where some individuals would see the ability to carry on working if one wanted to as positive and others as negative. A lot depends on the type of work, the industry norms, personal financial status and individual (mental and physical) health  – to name but a few factors.

The article rehearses a number of arguments on both sides of this debate, set within the particular context of the Indian parliamentary and legal system. The debate (and some of the context) will be familiar with those who have been following similar discussions in the UK, including the importance of not conflating older chronological age with failing health, the changing nature of what is considered ‘old’ or indeed ‘young’ and the potential loss to society of those who can still contribute highly developed (here, professional) skills. In India, it seems that the Supreme Court has deferred ruling on this particular application on the grounds that the matter is governed by the Constitution. This provides for judges to retire at 65 (62 in the case of the high court). But more widely, I think this discussion still has quite a long way to run.

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