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Work and retirement: looking to the future

The final seminar in the series had an international theme. It opened with a presentation by Hans Dubois from the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. Hans presented findings from a major project examining employment beyond typical retirement age; this showed that these workers had grown in number across most EU countries. The discussant for this paper, Rachelle Pascoe-Delauriers (University of Strathclyde), broadened the discussion to consider the complexity of a situation in which this rise was occurring alongside job-loss for many older workers.

David Lain (University of Brighton) shifted the geographical boundaries somewhat, comparing increases in employment beyond age 65 across Anglo Saxon countries. He argued that the changing policy context was an important factor in this. The discussant, Lynne Robertson (University of Edinburgh), started an interesting debate about the particularities of New Zealand, where employment has risen dramatically.

Bernard Casey (University of Warwick) presented recent research on the situation of older workers in Japan. In the past Japan has been considered to have a unique model of retirement, but the presentation suggested that there were more parallels between Japan and the UK than previously thought. Discussant Matt Flynn (University of Middlesex) added his own expertise in this area.

For the remainder of the day a Panel explored research gaps and future priorities. Stephen Balchin from Department for Work and Pensions highlighted areas where greater knowledge was needed, including the consequences of the default retirement age abolition. Andrea Winkelmann-Gleed (University of Westminster) argued for more research on migration and retirement and on embedding good practice into organisations regarding older workers. Wendy Loretto (University of Edinburgh) presented research on the importance of considering the household influences on retirement decisions in future research. Finally, Sarah Vickerstaff (University of Kent) closed the event with some reflections on what we had learned from the seminar and the series as a whole.

Grimond Lecture Theatre 3
University of Kent

4th May 2012

The seminar brought together academics, practitioners and policy makers to explore:

  • How employment is changing for older workers across a range of countries
  • The consequences of this for the future of retirement
  • Research gaps and priorities for the future



Hans Dubois
The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions
Work after Retirement in the EU
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Bernard Casey
University of Warwick
The Employment of Older People Japan in a Period of Stagnation and Deregulation
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David Lain
University of Brighton
Extending the working life in Anglo Saxon Countries
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Stephen Balchin
Department for Work and Pensions

Andrea Winkelmann-Gleed
University of Westminster
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Daniela Silcock
Pensions Policy Institute

Wendy Loretto
University of Edinburgh


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