At the recent meeting of the IEEE Life Member Committee, held at IEEE’s Piscataway HQ, the future status of Life members and other long-serving members was discussed. In the UK and Ireland Section there are currently approximately 250 Life members. This number has been growing steadily in recent years, as in all other IEEE Sections. This trend is the result of having more members satisfy the requirement that the member’s age must be at least 65, and the combined total of age and years of membership must be equal to or greater than 100 years. The number of older (post-retirement) members who do not yet meet this requirement has also been increasing. Unfortunately, many older members decide not to renew their membership as they approach or reach retirement. This results in a significant loss of experienced members who would otherwise be excellent candidates for volunteer positions. In the UK and Ireland Section, for example, our very successful historical Milestone program relies heavily on the availability of such volunteers

The discussions at HQ focussed on the reasons for post-retirement members to resign and possible ways of persuading them to continue their membership. An investigation will be carried out by a small group from the IEEE Life Member Committee, taking evidence from the most successful Sections around the world, and inviting members from the post-retirement community to send their comments to help guide the development of IEEE’s future policy towards older members.

We welcome inputs from members on these issues to help us to improve the level of satisfaction of this segment of the membership.

Charles Turner (

Chair, UK and Ireland Section Life Member Affinity Group

April 2017