Can working lives be extended? Problems and prospects for older workers

Date 12:00 PM 21 July 2016 - 13:00 PM 21 July 2016
Location Father Tucker's Room, The Brotherhood, 67 Brunswick Street

Presenter: Professor Chris Phillipson, visiting from the University of Manchester


Changing patterns of work and retirement raise major questions for social policy. A key issue concerns a legacy of the 20th Century, the idea of retirement as a major part of the life course. The acceptance of early retirement in the 1970s and 1980s accelerated the growth of post-work lifestyles, consolidated by the cohort of ‘first wave’ baby boomers. Both aspects are now in collision with the drive to delay retirement and raise pension ages. This paper reviews trends in later working across a range of OECD countries, highlighting the emergence of new forms of insecurity facing older workers. The discussion links these to the impact on employment of de-industrialisation and the post-2008 recession. The paper will argue that extending working life is likely to create a range of social, health and income inequalities and will suggest a range of policy interventions in response.

Professor Chris Phillipson is a sociologist and former Executive Director of the Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA), based at the University of Manchester (UK). He has worked on a range of projects relating to social exclusion and ageing, work and retirement, globalisation and ageing, and age-friendly cities. He is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and a Past-President of the British Society of Gerontology. He has published a number of books in the field of ageing as well as numerous research papers.

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