Save future welfare through ‘Bridge employment’ in a prolonged and “pleasurable” work life

If future welfare is to be secured, there is need to reverse the discourse in society, from “pro”-pension to “pro”-work. Older adults are healthier, more well-educated and have a longer period as retirement pensioners ahead than before. But they have not increased their presence at the labour market. What are the incentives for older adults wanting, being able and allowed to work longer? A majority of older adults leave working life at 65; and as many at 61 as at 67. With approval from the employer one can work longer. Studies have shown that older adults are willing to work after they have reached pensionable age, if they can have a larger economic exchange of it, and possibilities to more flexible working hours. Different groups of people have variable thoughts about their pension, likewise when they are faced with the question; at planning, at decision date or a time after, but research shows that most of them have made their decision at 63. To what extent employers are willing to make interventions to retain their older manpower is a fairly unknown domain; likewise, how work mates view older adults’ prerequisites to work longer. Therefore, the main aim of this research project is to map what predicts the pleasurable, prolonged working life from a societal, organizational and individual perspective. Further, the aim is to identify and describe how older adults, employers and work mates view older adults’ prerequisites to work after pensionable age. Our study builds on questionnaire data from a representative sample from the whole working population in Sweden together with questionnaire data from employers and workmates. Our information from the questionnaire data are deepened through focus group discussions and individual interviews. To our knowledge, no large population study with this study design is still conducted in Europe.

Contact: Anita Björklund Carlstedt