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Helping Older Workers Find and Retain Jobs

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The financial incentives in pension systems, explored in Chapter 3, undoubtedly play an important role in retirement decisions. But if there are barriers to working longer on the demand side, pension reforms designed to improve work incentives may be less effective. This chapter describes various barriers affecting employers and employees and what might be done to tackle them. There are still ageist attitudes among employers, particularly over the ability of older workers to adapt to change. Legislation against age discrimination and public‐information campaigns have been effective in some, but by no means all, countries that have adopted these policies. In some countries, older workers cost too much and early retirement provides an all‐too convenient way of adjusting the size of the workforce. Strict employment‐protection legislation can make it costly to hire older workers. Employment opportunities of older workers may be limited because their skills have become devalued or they receive little help in finding new jobs. Available employment opportunities may be unattractive because of poor working conditions or unsuitable and inflexible working‐time arrangements. Finally, this chapter discusses the issue of jobs for younger and older workers. It finds that there is no evidence that older workers deprive youths of jobs. In fact, the reverse is true.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2011-03-01

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