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A matter of health and job satisfaction

Seniors, work and retirement in the Nordic region

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In all the Nordic countries there is a declared policy of increasing work participation among seniors. The most important reason comes from a more long-term population, generation and welfare perspective: gradually, as more and more older people live longer, it is becoming increasingly expensive for younger age groups to finance and maintain relatively generous welfare schemes. The report a matter of health and job satisfaction compares and analyses the situation of seniors on the labour market in the Nordic countries as well as pension and social insurance systems. Seven in ten seniors aged 50-64 are in work, while three in ten have either retired early or are on the way out of working life. Impaired health and capacity for work represent the most important ”exit route”, followed by voluntary, flexible pensions, unemployment and working environment. Other causes include formal and informal barriers and age discrimination. People are different, seniors not least. Health, duties and working environment are crucial to more seniors being able and wanting to work for longer, in addition to which they want to be seen, made use of and appreciated!

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What is being done? Policy, programmes and initiatives

Maintaining a good balance of benefits and services between the generations in the long term is an important part of the economic and welfare policy of all the Nordic countries. Strategies aimed at maintaining and preferably increasing employment among seniors and getting more seniors to continue working for longer if they are fit enough are a key element in this policy. Some of these strategies also involve developing greater individual freedom of choice and more flexible solutions in the transition between work and retirement. Pension system reforms are central to such a strategy. No Nordic country now has a declared policy of pensioning seniors off early in order to help reduce youth unemployment, as happened to a certain extent in the economic crises around 1990.

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