EUROPEAN PAPERS ON THE NEW WELFARE

How to Reconcile employees’ interest with the increasing older workers employment policies

1. Employment rates in Europe

The European trade union movement supports the ambitious targets set by the European Council in Lisbon (2000) and Stockholm (2001): increase of the general employment rate to 70% and of the employment rate of older workers (55 to 64) to 50% by 2010. This increase is crucial in order to ensure the sustainability of the pension system, whatever be their design.
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Employment of Older Workers in the Netherlands: Recent Reforms

1. Introduction

Recent Dutch experience of employment for older workers differs significantly from that of other continental countries like France and Germany. In a nutshell, over the last 7 or 8 years, the Netherlands have been able to start reversing the early retirement trend and improving employment at end of career. As a result, the employment rate of 55-64-year-old Dutch workers increased from 30% in 1995 to 42% in 2002 (for men from 41% to 55% and for women from 18% to 29%), and the average age of exit from the labour force rose from around 60 years in 1995 to 62 years in 2002 (cf. EUROSTAT, 2004).
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Why is the Employment Rate of Older Swiss so High? An Analysis of the Social Security System

Population ageing, better health of older persons, and lower birth rates will, in the near future, have a significant effect on the workings of labour markets in virtually all industrialized countries. There are three main reasons for this observation. First, these developments will inevitably change the age composition of the labour supply: the proportion of older workers in the labour market will increase. A second implication of the changing demographic structure is the negative effect that this development has on (primarily unfunded) public pension systems. Most pension funds in many industrialized countries are already confronted with severe financial difficulties, and innovative solutions for assuring future pensions are called for. Finally, the ongoing demographic change will, with the current retirement age, significantly reduce the labour supply. Furthermore, this reduction in labour supply cannot be compensated for by capital accumulation (e.g. Börsch-Supan, 2001).
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Why and How to prolong working life: a labour market perspective

Abstract
Using the Italian case as a learning example, this short note will discuss the issues raised by the goal of working life prolongment. Firstly, it will be argued that such a goal is of paramount relevance vis-à-vis the increase in life expectancy as a way-out from the apparent trade-off between financial sustainability and social adequacy of pensions systems. The difficulties of fulfilling such a goal, taking account of the interactions between demand and supply factors and of the inheritance of past rules and habits, will then be discussed with reference to the Italian case.
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Active Ageing: a core policy priority for the European Union

Abstract
In view of the ongoing ageing and coming shrinking of their working-age population, the Member States of the European Union have agreed bold goals for increasing the employment rate and the exit age of older workers. Progress so far has been modest and with enlargement the challenge has become bigger. EU policies however lend constructive support and Member States are stepping up their efforts to institute better regimes of age management. As policy measures begin to kick in they are likely to be helped by an upward shift in the skill level of older workers and growing labour scarcity. Though it may be difficult to fully meet the targets of a 50% employment rate and a 5-year delay in the exit age by 2010, the relative role of older workers in the European workforce is likely to be substantially strengthened over the next 5-10 years.
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Pension Economics and the Four Pillars: Success in a Never-Ending Challenge

1. Introduction

Pensions economics is a complex field to work in, not least because of the many dimensions it covers beyond the already complex economic questions, particularly in the social and political sphere. The question as to how best (whatever this might mean in the discussion in question — and there has been a lot of confusion in the past over the target definitions) set up, finance and organize old-age security has been with us in its modern form for about a century, since Bismarck’s landmark introduction of the German social security schemes at the end of the 19th century.
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