Retirees Still Working

Retirees Still WorkingRetirees Still Working

Over 1.5 million people above the age of 60 have returned to the job market after retirement for different reasons, including their inability to meet the basic needs for a decent livelihood with the pensions they get, the need to contribute and transfer their work experience and to keep up their morale, current data indicate.

From among every 100 working people in Iran, seven are elderly. In other words, many retirees are reemployed, according to Tabnak News Agency.  

This indicates that employers are also willing to recruit retirees as they are experienced and have high skills -- a chronic shortage in and among the army of young people wanting to join the labor market. Another advantage of rehiring the retirees is that they don’t need insurance coverage, which is a substantial amount (27% of the gross salary) employers must pay, as per law, to the Social Security Organization every month.

But employment of retirees can jeopardize the job prospects of younger applicants. There are some employers who believe that replacing experienced retired employees with a younger workforce may affect public sector efficiency.

Last year (ended March 20), from a total workforce of 21.3 million, around 1.5 million were retirees over the age of 60.

Studies conducted by the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare show that unfavorable economic conditions is the primary reason for seeking re-employment. On the other hand, this has taken away jobs for many young applicants leading to negative social and psychological consequences.

Figures also show that the unemployment rate of retired people who are seeking jobs has decreased from 12.2% in 1975 to 0.9% in 2011, which means that during the past 35 years reemployment of retirees has become much easier than before.

Retirees seeking work increased to 16.82% in 1985 and dropped to 10.8% and 3.1% in 1995 and 2005.

 Not Same

However, the rate is not the same in all the provinces and varies from 0.07% in South Khorsan Province to 3.8% in Sistan-Baluchestan.

It is important to note that the rate of elderly unemployment in each province is lower than the youth unemployment rate in the provinces.

Another interesting fact is that despite the high cost of living in the capital, male retirees in Tehran are less likely to seek reemployment.

Retirees’ economic participation rate is 17.4% in the capital. At the same time, the rate of economic participation in North Khorasan Province is 53.8%.

Agricultural sector is where most of the retirees seek work (72%), followed by the service sector. Only 7% are active in the industrial sector.

According to the Statistical Center of Iran (SCI), last year the unemployment rate was 3.5% for the age group 50-54 years; 3.1% for 55-59 years, and 2% for the age group 60 to 64 years.

Women over the age of 65 are seemingly not interested to return to work after retirement.

Experts say a balance should be maintained between addressing youth unemployment and harnessing the wisdom of the veterans through reemployment. According to official data, close to 11% of working-age Iranians are unemployed. However, the unofficial figure is said to be much higher as the country struggles with a long and extended recession, low productivity, poor growth rates and the huge losses due to the decade plus international sanctions.