RETIREMENT in terms of ICE subscription rates could soon be at the age of 65 rather than the end of full-time employment, if ideas put to Council by the Finance & Planning committee are taken up.
At the moment, some people giving up full time work are deemed to have retired and pay a much reduced subscription to ICE - currently £50 including NCE and Civil Engineering.
But many members continue to use their designatory letters in support of part-time consultancy.
Senior vice-president and F&P chairman Joe Dwyer suggested to Council that it would be fairer to redefine retirement at the statutory age of 65.
President George Fleming agreed that it was an important issue. He pointed out that many engineers were still working in their 70s.
Immediate past president Roger Sainsbury added that the current rules say a member is not deemed to be retired if he or she earns more than £7000 a year from engineering.
Dwyer also suggested that the retired members' rate ramp up to £95 by 2004.
The ideas are part of a five-year financial strategy being put together by the F&P committee on behalf of executive.
The retirement rate is a key issue because ICE's UK working membership is predicted to decline by 1% a year to 2004 assuming UK construction continues to require fewer professional engineers.
At the same time, the number of retired members is predicted to rise from 8500 to 12,500. Extra income generated by increasing the retired rate substantially would raise about £340,000.
This money could help fund the £0.5M extension of the executive secretary programme around England.
The plan has deliberately not taken account of positive programmes to promote ICE membership as the committee thought it prudent to be cautious.