Modernising Social Policy for the New Life Course

image of Modernising Social Policy for the New Life Course

This seminar proceedings examines whether the current designs of social protection systems in OECD societies are well-suited to contemporary life-course realities. It looks in detail at recent policy developments in OECD countries to develop more flexible time-based social policies, as well as related issues, such as asset-based welfare programmes, as well as policies to encourage redistribution of income and/or time over the life course and how these might be structured most effectively.


Ageing and Life-course Issues

The Case of the Career Break Scheme (Belgium) and the Life-course Regulation (Netherlands)

Phased retirement systems are considered to contribute to the policy objective of longer working careers. There are a wide range of instruments that enable the gradual transition between work and retirement such as the change of job content or a working time reduction. The impact of these systems on the effective retirement age is however still under investigation. In this chapter we present the Belgian career break system, a system that provides financial incentives for 50+ workers to reduce their working time by one fifth or by half. In order to assess the performance of the system against the objectives criteria like the coverage of the scheme, its costs and direct and indirect effects are considered. Besides the Belgian scheme the Dutch life-course scheme and some other types of phased retirement schemes are briefly described. We find that in general working time reduction is a valuable tool for experienced employees in order to keep them active. It is however clear that the policy implementation especially in case of the Belgian career break scheme needs to be reinforced in order to improve the results in terms of coverage (biased profile of participants) and in terms of increasing the effective retirement age of persons participating to the scheme.


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