On 15 January 2019, the University of Malaya’s Social Wellbeing Research Centre (SWRC) launched a book titled “Who says I am retired?” – a compilation of mini-autobiographies featuring senior civil servants, corporate leaders and academicians who have come together to redefine society’s traditional idea of retirement.
The publication of the book is the result of the collaboration between the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and SWRC, with the aim to spearhead research work, teaching and dissemination of evidence-based knowledge in the area of social security, including old age and financial protection.
SWRC Director, Datuk Emeritus Professor Norma Mansor said, “In the 33 cases contained in the book, these prominent personalities, all of whom are well above the official retirement age of 60, have written insightful mini-autobiographies of themselves as well as a mix of essays and articles to share their ideas of what work means to them and their motivation to remain actively engaged in work and society in their golden years.
“Numerous studies of modern societies in the western world have found that the term retirement does not actually reflect the reality on the ground. Today, members of these societies value the freedom to pursue their dreams, they treasure opportunities to continuously contribute to society, and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing the fruits of their labours.”
Through this book project, which was initiated in 2015, the SWRC has found that Malaysia is similarly undergoing an evolution in career perception as there is an active community of people who have reached the legislated retirement age, but continue to be productively engaged or contributing to the community. Among retirees who have adequate savings or defined-benefit pension, there are those who continue to participate actively in civil society activities and picking up new skills.
EPF Chairman Tan Sri Samsudin Osman said, “The EPF is pleased to support the publication of this book by SWRC as the experience of post-retirees who continue to engage in paid or voluntary work should provide valuable lessons to all.
“Within two decades, by 2040, there will be 6.3 million Malaysians aged 60 and older. As Malaysia will be experiencing an ageing population, there is a need to promote active and productive ageing to optimise the human resources for sustained productivity and economic growth,” said Tan Sri Samsudin.
He added that maintaining active engagement through one’s senior years has the potential to promote emotional well-being and physical health, as well as social integration and support among older people.
Members of the public can obtain a copy of the e-book starting today from http://ssrc.um.edu.my/recommended-readings/.