Is extending working life possible? Research and policy issues

Chris Phillipson

in The future for older workers

Published by Policy Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9781847424181
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303800 | DOI:
Is extending working life possible? Research and policy issues

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During the early part of the twentieth century, much uncertainty surrounds the transition from work to retirement. The causal factors for this uncertainty were spurred by the various directions associated with economic, social, and cultural change. The economic foundation of retirement has been undermined with the separation of state and personal pensions, and the movement of companies from defined benefit to money purchase schemes. The social desirability of retirement has also been questioned, with moves to increasing state pension age in all industrialised economies. In addition, the meaning attached to retirement has become more complex, reflecting the varied health, financial and personal circumstances of retirees. However, reversal of the retirement trends may prove difficult. Governments, for a variety of reasons, are encouraging later retirement along with ‘age diversity’ in the workplace. In contrast, attitudes and aspirations on the part of working people may run in the opposite direction. This chapter examines the tensions in the current debates in retirement by summarising the current trends in the transition from work to retirement; examining the range of factors encouraging people to leave employment; and assessing policy options for stimulating age diversity in the workplace.

Keywords: work to retirement; retirement; state pension age; age diversity; later retirement; policy options

Chapter.  6449 words. 

Subjects: Gerontology and Ageing

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