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Trends in Retirement and in Working at Older Ages

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This chapter examines labour‐market behaviour of older workers, their pattern across countries and over time. There was a strong trend to early retirement throughout the 1970s and 1980s. However, this came to an end in the mid 1990s, and during the 2000s, the proportion of 50‐64 years olds participating in the labour market has started to creep up. A detailed analysis of pathways into retirement suggest that at least half of men use routes such as unemployment, sickness or disability benefits in half of countries. Women also often leave the labour market to care for family members. Older workers appear to have fared relatively well in the economic downturn that followed the global financial crisis in most OECD countries. This contrasts with previous recessions, where older workers were often the first to lose their jobs and found it hardest to find new employment. A decomposition of governments' long‐term projections of the finance of the pension system shows that these are highly dependent on further increases in participation rates at older ages and effective retirement ages.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2011-03-01

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