An article said that higher employment protection for older workers in developed economies could have damaging effects on younger workers. On balance such schemes were beneficial for employment: but they should be designed so that the cost of laying off older workers decreased gradually as they neared retirement.
Source: Arnaud Cheron, Jean-Olivier Hairault, and Francois Langot, 'Age-dependent employment protection', Economic Journal, Volume 121 Issue 557
A report said that there was strong public support for gradual retirement, but little evidence that it happened in practice on a large scale. It recommended that the government should make the positive case for extending working lives much more strongly, and should consider the introduction of a graduated state pension.
Source: Craig Berry, Gradual Retirement and Pensions Policy, International Longevity Centre – UK
A paper examined the effect of job quality on pathways to productive activities of older workers in Europe. Several aspects of job quality appeared to play a role in participation in society as a whole. Care-giving, on the other hand, appeared to be independent of job quality, but very gender-specific. Better working time arrangements should be developed in order to foster the participation of older workers in society.
Source: Catherine Pollak and Nicolas Sirven, The Social Economy of Ageing: Job quality and pathways beyond the labour market in Europe, Working Paper 2011.66, Centre dEconomie de la Sorbonne (Paris)
A paper examined the impact of age on work-related self-reported health outcomes in Europe. Those aged 55-65 were more 'vulnerable' than younger workers. They were more likely to: perceive work-related health and safety risks; report mental, physical, and fatigue health problems; and report work-related absence.
Source: Melanie Jones, Paul Latreille, Peter Sloane, and Anita Staneva, Work-Related Health in Europe: Are older workers more at risk?, Discussion Paper 6044, Institute for the Study of Labor (Bonn)
A new book examined retirement patterns and old age inequality across Europe and the United States of America.
Source: Hans-Peter Blossfeld, Sandra Buchholz, and Karin Kurz (eds.), Aging Populations, Globalization and the Labor Market: Comparing late working life and retirement in modern societies, Edward Elgar Publishing
An article examined older workers' perceptions of job security in 11 European countries. Although there were considerable cross-country variations, around 23 per cent of workers aged 50 or older ranked their job security as 'poor'.
Source: Karsten Hank and Marcel Erlinghagen, 'Perceptions of job security in Europe's ageing workforce', Social Indicators Research, Volume 103 Number 3
An article examined variations of quality of work, and the effects of quality of work on older workers' health, by reference to types of welfare regime in Europe. Active labour policies and reliable social protection measures were found to exert beneficial effects on the health and well-being of older workers.
Source: Nico Dragano, Johannes Siegrist, and Morten Wahrendorf, 'Welfare regimes, labour policies and unhealthy psychosocial working conditions: a comparative study with 9917 older employees from 12 European countries', Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Volume 65 Number 9
An article examined the role of subjective experiences of health in older workers' decisions around retirement and continued labour market participation.
Source: Patrick Brown and Sarah Vickerstaff, 'Health subjectivities and labor market participation: pessimism and older workers? attitudes and narratives around retirement in the United Kingdom', Research on Ageing, Volume 33 Number 5
A paper provided an overview of the distinctive features of the older labour market. It identified the policy issues that needed to be addressed in order to make more effective use of older workers, focusing on skills issues.
Source: Stephen McNair, Older People and Skills in a Changing Economy, UK Commission for Employment and Skills
Researchers examined the experience of unemployment for older jobseekers. Older newly redundant claimants had a number of key barriers to work that stemmed from having long work histories. Older jobseekers preferred one-to-one provision with personal advisers. Work trials were seen as effective in helping older claimants show their employability. Flexibility in the timing of employment support interventions was seen as crucial in meeting the needs of older claimants.
Source: Andrew Thomas and Alison Pemberton, Qualitative Research into Enhanced Jobseekers Allowance Provision for the 50+, Research Report 766, Department for Work and Pensions
Researchers examined the relationship between job quality and retirement using panel data for European countries.
Source: Mario Schnalzenberger, Nicole Schneeweis, Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, and Martina Zweimuller, Job Quality and Employment of Older People in Europe, Working Paper 1108, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz (Austria)
An article examined whether an American-style 'self-reliance' policy approach would increase employment among the poorest people over 65, and enhance or diminish their financial position. The poorest people over 65 were more likely to work in the United States of America than in England in 2002: but employment rates were still relatively low. An American policy approach would therefore probably damage the financial position of the poorest people in the United Kingdom, as increased employment would not sufficiently compensate for lost benefits.
Source: David Lain, 'Helping the poorest help themselves? Encouraging employment past 65 in England and the USA', Journal of Social Policy, Volume 40 Issue 3
An article suggested the adoption of a proactive and preventative approach to work quality and worklife issues for older workers.
Source: Tony Maltby, 'Extending working lives? Employability, work ability and better quality working lives', Social Policy and Society, Volume 10 Issue 3
A paper said that pathways to retirement had been dominated by spells of unemployment in the late 1970s, but by the increased importance of disability spells from the mid-1980s onwards. The halting of the increase in the number of disability benefit claimants in the mid-1990s coincided with the implementation of a major reform. Evidence from the pilots of the 'Pathways to Work programme' in 2003-2005 also suggested that those moving on to disability benefits moved off these benefits faster than they would otherwise have done as a direct result of the programme.
Source: James Banks, Richard Blundell, Antoine Bozio, and Carl Emmerson, Disability, Health and Retirement in the United Kingdom, National Bureau of Economic Research (Massachusetts)
A paper examined the influence of heavy job demands on retirement in Europe. The frequency of heavy job demands was higher among workers with lower socio-economic status, and heavy job demands were associated with on average higher retirement probabilities, once workers became eligible for pension benefits.
Source: Golo Henseke, Retirement Effects of Heavy Job Demands, Working Paper 118, Institute of Economics (University of Rostock)
A briefing paper examined policy and legal developments in relation to a mandatory retirement age.
Source: Vincent Keter, Retirement Age, Standard Note SN/BT/961, House of Commons Library
Links: Briefing paper
A paper examined the effect on people's retirement timing of asset prices and labour market conditions over the economic cycle. There was little evidence that 'wealth' effects influenced retirement timing: but there were significant effects of labour market conditions, with higher unemployment rates leading to earlier retirement.
Source: Richard Disney, Anita Ratcliffe, and Sarah Smith, Booms, Busts and Retirement Timing, Working Paper 10/233, Centre for Market and Public Organisation (University of Bristol)
Links: Working paper
The government confirmed plans (following consultation) to phase out the default retirement age from April 2011.
Source: Phasing Out the Default Retirement Age: Government Response to Consultation, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Notes: Consultation document
Researchers evaluated a pilot project in which provider organizations delivered a guidance service to employees aged 50 and above.
Source: Kim Perren, Janet Harvey, Katherine Hill, Yvette Hartfree, and Matt Padley, Evaluation of the 50+ Face-to-Face Guidance Pilot, Research Report 720, Department for Work and Pensions
An article examined the levels of job satisfaction reported by older workers (aged 50-64) with and without disabilities, at a European level. Older workers with limiting disabilities had greater returns in terms of satisfaction with their job characteristics (such as wages, tenure, and working in the private sector) compared with non-disabled individuals.
Source: Ricardo Pagan, 'Ageing and disability: job satisfaction differentials across Europe', Social Science & Medicine, Volume 72 Issue 2