[Excerpt] Most social and economic policies advocating the extension of working life emphasise both that the statutory retirement age must increase to 67 and that the effective retirement age should increase. Extending working life is one of the strategies to avoid old-age poverty and to reduce state expenditure on pensions and welfare.
People need to work longer – and frequently would like to work longer. However, the type of work people are doing may not be suitable for older workers; in addition, their skills may no longer be in demand. To effectively extend working lives, the future needs of middle-aged workers need to be anticipated, with reflection starting well before workers’ choices become limited and change is no longer feasible. The issue is particularly important for those engaged in arduous work.
This report examines the merits of reviewing workers’ career status in mid-career and the options they have in order to stay in work longer. It presents literature from economics, social science and psychology regarding career and vocational counselling. It gives estimates on the length of jobs, average tenure and eventual tenure of so-called lifetime jobs and job tenure for those exiting the labour market, based on data from the EU Labour Force Survey. The report goes on to describe legislation and strategies aimed at keeping workers with arduous jobs in employment longer. And it ends by summarising evidence on the implementation of career checks in three countries and discussing the findings from eight company case studies.