'As many of our competitors continue to lay-off staff in order to get their costs down, we are pleased to announce that there will be no compulsory redundancies in the foreseeable future. We are, however, introducing a new staffing policy.
With immediate effect, we are reducing our mandated employee retirement age to 36. Although many staff might at first be concerned to learn that they will not actually be able to draw any pension until they reach 55 (and we will not be in a position to continue to make pension contributions for staff who have left the firm), please be advised that we have taken this action in your best long-term interests. Recent research has revealed that our industry is among the most stressful, and our new compulsory early retirement policy will probably mean that you will actually live longer. And life is not that bad on welfare. As you are aware, work / life balance has become a main priority for the firm and, as many of our over-36s have been working like dogs over the last few years, most could do with a break anyway.
We are also pleased to announce that, despite recent speculation, we have not imposed an across-the-board hiring freeze. We have, however, tightened up our hiring policy. The executive committee has decided that, during these difficult times for our industry, we will need experienced staff to pull us through. In future, therefore, we will not be hiring any new staff under the age of 34. There will be no more hiring kids in nappies.
It is also opportune to confirm that we will be moving to our new eco-friendly headquarters next month, as we have acquired that large field just outside New Jersey. Although we don't plan any construction work there, at least our surroundings will be green.
Finally, it is only proper to update back and middle office staff on our intentions for year-end bonus payments. The good news is that most of you will be getting a bonus comparable to that you received last year. The bad news is that last year, of course, most of you got no bonus anyway. There will be no bonuses for front office staff either, as we closed all our front office businesses a few weeks back'.