Employers are allowing employees to work beyond the retirement age on mutual agreement, and providing additional support around retirement options and financial wellbeing.
Pandemic, the emigration wave, and an ageing population have all intensified the talent crunch in Hong Kong. However, a silver lining has seemingly been found among older employees in the workforce, according to a recent study by Aon.
Aon’s 2022 Older Age Workforce Study revealed that 44% of surveyed employers in Hong Kong see an increased business need to retain older employees in the workforce, and expect this to be a key focus over the next five years.
Since there is no statutory retirement age in Hong Kong, more than half (57%) of employers allow employees to work beyond retirement age on mutual agreement.
Among employers that have increased or are considering increasing the retirement age, the majority (56%) cited the need to retain employees’ experience in their Hong Kong workforce and are monitoring public sector retirement age trends.
Ashley Palmer, Regional Managing Partner and Head of Wealth Solutions, Asia Pacific at Aon, believed that organisations need to be more proactive in retaining and engaging the talent they already have, and showing their care for more experienced talent by investing in specifically designed employee benefits.
“Employers with an effective older workforce strategy are able to drive agile succession planning, retain key skills, and provide a soft-exit through flexible retirement options,” he said. “These are all critical to further accelerating talent pipelines and organisational people objectives, such as to increase diversity and gender representation in leadership roles.”
In this sense, the survey found that one-third (34%) of Hong Kong employers are providing employees with additional support around retirement options and financial wellbeing. In addition, 17% of employers demonstrate their appreciation to retiring employees by providing an ex gratia “golden handshake,” which can include a cash bonus, gold, gift coupons and celebratory meals.
Stella Ho, Head of Wealth Solutions, Hong Kong at Aon, suggested employers should increase focus on communication and ensure sufficient working/retirement flexibilities within competitive employee benefits and retirement practices to optimise their older talent.
“Business leaders typically underestimate employees’ need for wellbeing support, especially for retirement and financial wellbeing,” she highlighted.
“Financial stress is not based on income or age, but is closely linked to mental health, and in times of increasing costs of living, supporting employees to make better financial decisions has never been more important to drive workforce resilience and productivity.”