Mandatory retirement for older professional drivers: an exploration of experiences for older Singaporean taxi drivers

Chan, Mei Leng, Gustafsson, L. and Liddle, Jacki (2014) Mandatory retirement for older professional drivers: an exploration of experiences for older Singaporean taxi drivers. Ageing and Society, 35 7: 1384-1409. doi:10.1017/S0144686X14000257

Author Chan, Mei Leng
Gustafsson, L.
Liddle, Jacki
Title Mandatory retirement for older professional drivers: an exploration of experiences for older Singaporean taxi drivers
Journal name Ageing and Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0144-686X
Publication date 2014-03-27
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S0144686X14000257
Open Access Status
Volume 35
Issue 7
Start page 1384
End page 1409
Total pages 26
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract Singapore has an age-based mandatory retirement policy for taxi drivers. In 2006, the upper age limit of mandatory retirement was raised from 70 to 73 years for healthy, older taxi drivers. Retirement from taxi driving in Singapore often results in simultaneous retirement from work and forced driving cessation due to limited private vehicle ownership. While both retirement from work and driving cessation have been found to have negative implications for health and wellbeing in Western countries, little is known about the effects of mandatory retirement and driving cessation for healthy professional drivers in an Asian context. This study aimed to explore the mandatory retirement experience of older Singaporean taxi drivers, aged 70-73 years. In-depth interviews were conducted within a descriptive phenomenological approach with 23 older Singaporean taxi drivers who were retired or retiring drivers. Findings showed the experience to be dominated by retirement from work issues rather than by driving cessation. Three themes described the experiences: 'stories of taxi driving', 'feeling lost in retirement' and 'contradictions of growing old in Singapore'. Taxi driving was a valued role. Despite an expected retirement, most participants were not prepared for the retirement transition. They struggled with emotional adjustment, financial vulnerability, identity, reduction in life-space and meaningful activity participation. Participants felt under-valued despite having personal achievements and support from family and 'successful ageing' policies. Work remained a preferred activity despite limited re-employment opportunities. The unique context of expected but forced retirement, financial need in a non-welfare system, high cultural value on work, and limited options for productive or meaningful activities and roles, predisposed this sub-group of older Singaporean men to be vulnerable retirees in terms of identity and wellbeing issues. Support for a stressful late-life transition is indicated for continued health and wellbeing. Copyright
Keyword Qualitative method
Retirement transition
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online ahead of print 27 March 2014.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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