Igor Iankovskyi: "Pensioners of the future: what should think about 30-40-years-old Ukrainians?"

The pension reform is being actively discussed in Ukraine, one of the main subjects of which is the age of retirement. The majority of citizens are against its increasing and the government is trying to balance – tries to cut the Pension fund’s deficit while leaving the age of retirement unchanged.

However, poor pension levels force Ukrainians to work even after the age of 55-60 and to provoke competition to young graduates. In turn, this often leads to conflicts. Young people’s talk: we have nowhere to work, go on retirement. And the pensioners answer: we have no means to live, it’s impossible to live on the pension.

On the other hand, the question of the third-age people is being wrestled with not only in Ukraine but with different accent – how to maintain their social activity.

World Economic Forum has issued a new white paper in May, entitled “We’ll Live to 100 – How Can We Afford It?”. According to the document, by 2050 the age of retirement in developed countries should be elevated at least to 70 years because the average life expectancy in these countries will exceed 100 years by that time.

The analysis of demographic situation in eight countries – Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Netherlands, the Great Britain, China and the USA, gave the sociologists the basis for determination that retirement support will require six times more money in those countries. The overall amount will increase in average from 70 trillion US dollars to 400 trillion!

At the same time, the scientists don’t give a comprehensive answer on how to deal with new challenges.

One of the possible ways is to increase the population’s financial literacy in order to provide the ability for people to earn enough money before the retirement age.

Furthermore, the States will be forced to develop special educational programs for pensioners to learn new qualifications. If, of course, they would be willing to remain active participants of the employment market.
All of those are not only the challenges, but also – the possibilities. In Ukrainian reality, the increasing life expectancy will allow to cumulate and to pass on the social capital, lifetime experience of older generations.

What we need, is to strive for reducing the mental gap between older generations and young specialists. Particularly if we are talking about working process and passing on the experience: older generation should pass not the knowledge itself, but the experience, becoming the mentors for the youth. Such an expression as “pensioner” in modern meaning should become extinct in the future, while tutoring could be a great alternative to the profession, for which they could receive a salary or honorarium. This will be useful for everybody: young specialists analyzing real cases brought to them by elderly colleagues while it constitutes an important socialization and experience passing stage for the latter.

As of now, the 30-40 years old Ukrainians should give themselves some hard thinking about their financial literacy and the professions they could learn after the retirement, given the current changes in pension legislation. The saying about the person’s must of lifelong learning is being given a new sense.

I’m sure: the life conditions in Ukraine will start to gradually improve. So, will improve the quality and expectancy of life. That’s why let’s start thinking about today on our retirement occupations, on how to remain the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for as long as we can, how to be useful to our families and our country.

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