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Retirement Models and Debates


Thu 27. 8.  16:00 - 17:30
room FA 202

Delaying retirement in changing institutional and workplace contexts: Comparing approaches and outcomes in Europe and Asia


Hofäcker, Dirk (1); Simone, Braun (1); Matthew, Flynn (2)
1: University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany; 2: University of Newcastle, UK

Ageing demographics are leading employers and policymakers to consider ways to encourage and enable older workers to delay retirement. On the political level, pension systems have been reformed to impede early exit, while targeted investments aimed to simultaneously increase the employability of older workers. Interventions at the workplace level include flexible working hours, lifelong learning, healthy workplaces, job rotation, and pension financial intelligence. The effectiveness of such changes is closely related to management process to raise awareness of, encourage and enable older workers to take up changes in work routine as an alternative to early retirement. An important but largely unexplored question is whether and how the interplay of political and management interventions leads older workers to delay retirement. Using three datasets in the UK, Hong Kong and Germany, we will explore the relationship between these three factors. The first two datasets are from a bespoke survey of 1600 older employees. Data for Germany will be drawn from the German Ageing Study (DEAS). The three countries represent differences in welfare states (liberal, productivist and conservative) as well as VoC’s (LME, hybrid and CME). The UK and Hong Kong feature minimalist welfare states in which Defined Contribution pensions dominate while the German state pension is salary-based. Further, both the UK and German laws are shaped on EU regulations which require member states to promote extended working life through abolishing age discrimination and eliminating early retirement routes while Hong Kong has been able to maintain a largely volunteerist approach to employer engagement. In our contribution, we first describe the differential approaches towards older workers in all three countries. Against this contextual background, subsequent empirical analyses provide a descriptive overview of retirement plans of older workers as well as multivariate analyses of their variation across workplace contexts respectively between different groups of employees.