Working Better with Age

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People today are living longer than ever before, but what is a boon for individuals can be challenging for societies. If nothing is done to change existing work and retirement patterns, the number of older inactive people who will need to be supported by each worker could rise by around 40% between 2018 and 2050 on average in the OECD area. This would put a brake on rising living standards as well as enormous pressure on younger generations who will be financing social protection systems. Improving employment prospects of older workers will be crucial. At the same time, taking a life-course approach will be necessary to avoid accumulation of individual disadvantages over work careers that discourage or prevent work at an older age; What can countries do to help? How can they give older people better work incentives and opportunities? This report provides a synthesis of the main challenges and policy recommendations together with a set of international best practices to foster employability, labour demand and incentives to work at an older age.



Executive summary

OECD countries are ageing rapidly. If no action is taken to improve the labour market situation of older workers, this could put a brake on further improvements in living standards and lead to unsustainable increases in social expenditures. Across the OECD, the median age of the population is projected to increase from 40 years today to 45 years in the mid-2050s, and the ratio of older people aged 65 and over to people of working age (15-64) is projected to rise from 1 in 4 in 2018 to 2 in 5 in 2050.


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