December 12, 2011

MONGOLIA: Retirement is not benefitting anyone in Mongolia

ULAN BATOR, Mongolia / UB Post / Opinion / December 12, 2011



The greatest resource of developed countries is its human resources, especially the older people who are already retirees and pensioners. Those people who have vast professional knowledge and experience, purchasing power and know well about ups and downs of life are sometimes referred to as “silver generation”. Not a small part of global demand for commerce, service and tourism goes to the silver generation and weight of pension funds in property market is great. Nowadays, when people retire, they are changing the traditional image of a pensioner by doing things they have always wanted to do, but never had time for it and some are even working part time or full time in arts, culture or education sector in order to express themselves in a new way. In the West, retirement is regarded as the golden autumn of life that gives you new opportunities.

Let us now think about our silver generation. Even though Mongolia is a developing country, life expectancy is increasing and number of people over retirement age is going up. Although those people can continue working, our society lacks culture and desire to hire people over retirement age and it has become ordinary if a job has gender preference, age limit or preferred body height. Many organizations remind older workers in advance their opportunity to retire and some even choose replacements for jobs prior to retirement of older employees. That is why most people think that they must retire when they reach the retirement age. Retirement is not benefitting anyone in Mongolia and some people even think that retirements is the end of active time of life.
Hundreds of thousands of people, both men and women who have got ability to work, are out of jobs with nothing to do except playing cards, looking after children or preparing food just because retirees and pensioners are never hired in labor market of Mongolia. Furthermore, the youth have a solid understanding that retirees are old, not able to work and the only job for them is housekeeping or looking after children. 
Illustrative Photo Copyright by

As there are more and more people who can already satisfy their families’ needs and started accumulating wealth at some level, we face a necessity to make a significant change about the true value of silver generation in our society.

First of all, employers must realize that providing people over retirement age with employment is greatly significant to our society and economy. Also, a policy needs to be planned and conducted countrywide in order to let our society understand that people over retirement age including retirees and pensioners are invaluable resource of our country. 
American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) included bank teller, advisor, receptionist, language teacher, florist, housemaid, secret shopper (people who are hired by companies to measure quality of their service), security controller, assistant teacher and tour guide in the best 10 jobs for retired people. They constantly select and announce the best companies and organizations that are socially responsible and favorable to retired people. 
Many people view retirement as an opportunity to change their way of life, work with a different pace, learn more, teach others, start a new business, travel around or do volunteer works rather than just a signal to stop working. In addition, in this era of information technology, people can do many things using the Internet without need to go out. 
Anyways, any healthy man wants to do his best to work, face challenges and get satisfying results in his life. In order to help retired people find jobs, an association or organization that has a database of retired people’s information such as their profession, experience and conditions must be established and labor supply has to be regulated through economic sectors. 
If our government’s policy is directed at providing retired people with employment, education and practice, it will be more efficient than giving them MNT 1 million each. 

If we manage to have our silver generation employed as mentioned above, our more skilled people will have an opportunity to face a challenge that requires energy and competitiveness through a new sector that supplies goods and services to global market. Thus, we will have a chance to develop other sectors than mining sector. 
The Silver generation of Mongolia, who has already done much in their youth, is waiting for the government to give them a chance to choose what they want. Every single person passes through silver generation.

Translated B. Amar

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