Increasing the public pension age: Employers’ concerns and policy preferences

Harry van Dalen, C.J.I.M. Henkens, Jaap Oude Mulders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Governments increasingly focus on extending working lives by raising public pension ages and in some cases by linking pension ages to changes in the life expectancy. This study offers novel insights into how employers perceive such reforms and their consequences for their organization. A survey among employers (N = 1,208) has been carried out in 2017 to examine their reactions to a recent pension reform in the Netherlands. Statistical analyses are performed to examine employers’ support for the current policy of linking the public pension age to changes in average life expectancy, as well as the support for 2 alternative policies that are often considered in public policy debates: a flexible public pension age; and a lower public pension age for workers in physically demanding jobs. Results show that particularly employers in construction and industry are extremely concerned about the physical capability of employees to keep on working until the public pension age. These concerns are the driving forces behind the lack of support for linking public pension ages to changes in average life expectancy (22% support) and the overwhelming support for a lower public pension age for physically demanding jobs (82%). The introduction of a flexible pension age (78% support) is not firmly related to employers’ concerns about capability or employability of older workers.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalWork, Aging and Retirement
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jun 2019

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Pensions
pension
employer
life expectancy
Life Expectancy
Employers
Public pensions
worker
pension reform
Construction Industry
employability
working life
Netherlands
public policy
employee
Organizations
organization
reform
industry
lack

Keywords

  • Public pension age
  • Life Expectancy
  • Employers
  • Pension
  • Older workers

Cite this

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title = "Increasing the public pension age: Employers’ concerns and policy preferences",
abstract = "Governments increasingly focus on extending working lives by raising public pension ages and in some cases by linking pension ages to changes in the life expectancy. This study offers novel insights into how employers perceive such reforms and their consequences for their organization. A survey among employers (N = 1,208) has been carried out in 2017 to examine their reactions to a recent pension reform in the Netherlands. Statistical analyses are performed to examine employers’ support for the current policy of linking the public pension age to changes in average life expectancy, as well as the support for 2 alternative policies that are often considered in public policy debates: a flexible public pension age; and a lower public pension age for workers in physically demanding jobs. Results show that particularly employers in construction and industry are extremely concerned about the physical capability of employees to keep on working until the public pension age. These concerns are the driving forces behind the lack of support for linking public pension ages to changes in average life expectancy (22{\%} support) and the overwhelming support for a lower public pension age for physically demanding jobs (82{\%}). The introduction of a flexible pension age (78{\%} support) is not firmly related to employers’ concerns about capability or employability of older workers.",
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Increasing the public pension age : Employers’ concerns and policy preferences. / van Dalen, Harry; Henkens, C.J.I.M.; Oude Mulders, Jaap .

In: Work, Aging and Retirement, 09.06.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AB - Governments increasingly focus on extending working lives by raising public pension ages and in some cases by linking pension ages to changes in the life expectancy. This study offers novel insights into how employers perceive such reforms and their consequences for their organization. A survey among employers (N = 1,208) has been carried out in 2017 to examine their reactions to a recent pension reform in the Netherlands. Statistical analyses are performed to examine employers’ support for the current policy of linking the public pension age to changes in average life expectancy, as well as the support for 2 alternative policies that are often considered in public policy debates: a flexible public pension age; and a lower public pension age for workers in physically demanding jobs. Results show that particularly employers in construction and industry are extremely concerned about the physical capability of employees to keep on working until the public pension age. These concerns are the driving forces behind the lack of support for linking public pension ages to changes in average life expectancy (22% support) and the overwhelming support for a lower public pension age for physically demanding jobs (82%). The introduction of a flexible pension age (78% support) is not firmly related to employers’ concerns about capability or employability of older workers.

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