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21 February 2018

EU: Pension reform, ageing and labour market participation

Eurofound have published a new comparative report ‘Working conditions of workers of different ages’ on ageing, retirement policy and labour market participation. The report uses data from the European Working Conditions Survey and analyses the different factors contributing to workers deciding to continue working in later life.

The Eurofound report Working conditions of workers of different ages gives an in-depth analysis of the effects of policy reforms in the 28 EU Member States on the labour market participation of older workers. The executive summary of the report is published in all EU languages.

Demographic change has altered the face of working life across the EU. The increased demand on a shrinking pool of workers to provide for the social needs of an ageing population is leading to increases in the employment rate of older workers and a lengthening of working life. EU Member States have responded to these challenges by focusing on measures to raise the legal statutory and effective retirement age and limit access to early retirement. Other policy reforms have involved efforts to provide financial incentives for older workers to remain in work after the statutory retirement age.

The report discusses in a country comparative analysis, ways to support employees in engaging and remaining in work throughout an extended working life and focuses on the role of working conditions in shaping sustainable work over the life course. In general, the question of working conditions does not currently feature in the pension debate, and the legislation does not prescribe any exception to the rules for people working under very strenuous working conditions. According to the publication, a range of factors influence workers’ decision to continue working into old age – including health and well-being, work-life balance, career prospects and job security, and working conditions such as autonomy, hours of work and psychosocial aspects of the workplace.

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