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.



Promoting employability throughout working lives

Many barriers deter people from working longer. Some are related to employers’ willingness to retain and hire older workers (Chapter 4) but others affect older workers directly, which make it difficult for them to either stay in their existing job or find a new one. These include poor working conditions, limited training possibilities and interrupted careers earlier on in workers’ lives. The best practice for strengthening employability and job opportunities at an older age is to provide equal opportunities for workers to continuously upgrade their skills, recognise skills acquired throughout working lives and improve working conditions at all ages. This prevention strategy should be the motto of a work culture promoting longer and better working lives.



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