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Do European employers support later retirement?


  • Hendrik P. van Dalen
  • Kène Henkens
  • Wilma Henderikse
  • Joop Schippers


Purpose - This paper aims to examine whether employers' opinions and expectations regarding workers' retirement age are in line with the ideas of the EU-Member States' governments to increase the participation of older workers and to postpone the transition from paid work into retirement at the end of the labour market career. Design/methodology/approach - A comparative survey was used among employers from five European countries: Greece, Hungary, Spain, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Findings - The authors found that most employers are reluctant in supporting later retirement. Part of this reluctance is the result of the perception that an ageing work force is a burden rather than a boom to organizations. Originality/value - This study shows that there still is a discrepancy between the aims formulated at the level of the European Union and member state countries with respect to stimulating the labour force participation of older workers and the attitudes of individual employers. In particular, the fact that employers perceive alternative solutions to the challenges of an ageing and shrinking workforce, other than delaying retirement, suggests that most employers will not be a major driving force for extending the working life.

Suggested Citation

  • Hendrik P. van Dalen & Kène Henkens & Wilma Henderikse & Joop Schippers, 2010. "Do European employers support later retirement?," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 360-373, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:31:y:2010:i:3:p:360-373

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2003. "The Double Dividend of Postponing Retirement," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 10(4), pages 419-434, August.
    2. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 1-9.
    3. Edward P. Lazear, 1990. "Adjusting to an Aging Labor Force," NBER Chapters,in: Issues in the Economics of Aging, pages 287-316 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Peter Ester & Ruud Muffels & Joop Schippers & Ton Wilthagen (ed.), 2008. "Innovating European Labour Markets," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13212.
    5. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-1284, December.
    6. Hutchens, Robert M, 1989. "Seniority, Wages and Productivity: A Turbulent Decade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 49-64, Fall.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zou, Tieding & Ye, Hang, 2013. "养老金亏空与劳动力市场的联动效应——普遍延迟退休,还是分类延迟退休?
      [The Interaction between Pension Deficit and Labor Market——Unified Delay Or Differentiated Delay ?]
      ," MPRA Paper 58232, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 03 Jan 2014.


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