You are here: Home Knowledge Base Society Expanding Job Opportunities for Senior Citizens Solutions To facilitate partial retirement and downshifting, introduce more flexible working conditions, such as flexible rostering patterns, work schedules and part-time work, as well as flexible retirement schemes, including pensions based ...
Symposium 2012

Solution for Expanding Job Opportunities for Senior Citizens

The Challenge

Bureau of European Policy Advisers (BEPA) Session The key socioeconomic trend in many parts of the world—including China, Europe and the United States—is an ageing society. This trend is driven i ...

Bureau of European Policy Advisers (BEPA) Session

The key socioeconomic trend in many parts of the world—including China, Europe and the United States—is an ageing society. This trend is driven in part by lower fertility but mainly by higher longevity. This means that growing old age dependency—the ratio of older retired people to younger working people—will not disappear with the passing of the baby boom generation: indeed, it will keep increasing.

To facilitate partial retirement and downshifting, introduce more flexible working conditions, such as flexible rostering patterns, work schedules and part-time work, as well as flexible retirement schemes, including pensions based on lifetime income or contributions and flexible drawing-down of entitlements.

To sustain the productivity of older workers, employers should be encouraged to create an appropriate working environment or use more flexible working conditions, including flexible rostering patterns, work schedules and part-time work, to react to potentially reduced physical or mental capacities. An important element of making work less demanding for older workers in the later stages of their working lives would be the introduction of more flexible retirement schemes that enable employers to offer downshifting options, especially to low-skilled workers.

Downshifting generally involves taking a position as retirement is approaching that involves fewer hours or less responsibility and may be a way to extend lifetime working time. But there is often a strong disincentive to downshift in later career stages because of pension plans that link pension rights to the final salary (or salary in a small number of final years). This could be replaced by linking pensions to the full lifetime income or contributions to the pension scheme.

Pension providers and others should also be aware that older workers may feel more comfortable moving to other employers if they are downshifting and should make their pension schemes flexible enough to accommodate this. People should be able to draw down pension entitlements (from both state pensions and privately funded pension plans) in more flexible ways to enable gradual retirement. More flexible working time arrangements are also important to enable workers with caring responsibilities to remain in the workforce (an issue that is relevant not only to senior workers).

    Related Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Promote lifelong learning and age-appropriate career management as part of firms' corporate culture to improve the employability of older workers.

    Promote lifelong learning and age-appropriate career management as part of firms' corporate culture to improve the employability of older workers.

    Promote lifelong learning and age-appropriate career management as part of firms' corporate culture to improve the employability of older workers.

    Business
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Governments and business should promote the redesign workplaces and work schedules individually to fit senior workers' skills and abilities.

    Governments and business should promote the redesign workplaces and work schedules individually to fit senior workers' skills and abilities.

    Governments and business should promote the redesign workplaces and work schedules individually to fit senior workers' skills and abilities.

    Polity, Business
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Allow wages to adjust to lifecycle productivity and refrain from restrictive employment protection legislation that prevents such adjustment.

    Allow wages to adjust to lifecycle productivity and refrain from restrictive employment protection legislation that prevents such adjustment.

    Allow wages to adjust to lifecycle productivity and refrain from restrictive employment protection legislation that prevents such adjustment.

    Polity, Business
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Establish a national or international clearinghouse for best practices in retaining older workers.

    Establish a national or international clearinghouse for best practices in retaining older workers.

    Establish a national or international clearinghouse for best practices in retaining older workers.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Fight stigma and discrimination and correct popular misconceptions about the impact of age on employability and the impact of working longer on the labor market.

    Fight stigma and discrimination and correct popular misconceptions about the impact of age on employability and the impact of working longer on the labor market.

    Fight stigma and discrimination and correct popular misconceptions about the impact of age on employability and the impact of working longer on the labor market.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society