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Changing Expectations for Work and Retirement:

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Presentation on theme: "Changing Expectations for Work and Retirement:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Changing Expectations for Work and Retirement:
Jan Hively (Janet M. Hively, PhD) November 2009

2 Interest in the geopolitics of aging
Europe and Japan: hyper-aging Increased longevity, decreased fertility, limited immigration “We start working later and later. We stop working earlier and earlier. We live longer and longer. We have fewer and fewer children. Such an economic model is impossible.” Patrick Devadjian, French Head of Economic Recovery

3 Aha! XIXth IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Attend as an MGS representative! 5-9 July, 2009 Palais des Congres Paris


5 Scope of the conference
Themes Biological Sciences Health Sciences & Geriatric Medicine Behavioral and Psychological Sciences Social Research, Policy & Practice 6,300 participants 300+ workshops All in English (French revolt) Academic!! Huge, but no “big picture”

6 Making Connections: Robert Butler and Francoise Forette, International Longevity Centers (5) Age Friendly Communities – WHO plus Asia Pacific League – “straw into gold” Geneva Association – Silver Workers Inst Alliance Montesquieu (Age aux Travail)

7 (translated into French by Moira Allan) Janet M Hively PhD July 2009
Changing Expectations for Work and Retirement for the Alliance Montesquieu (translated into French by Moira Allan) Janet M Hively PhD July 2009

8 Current Age for Retirement
European Union 2008: age 60.9 (From 60: full public pension & health care) U.S. 2008: age 62.3 (From 62, Social Security minimum, full 67)

9 Pressures for Working Longer: Government Perspective
Projected shortfall in pension fund (Social Security Fund, 2045) Projected shortfall in skilled workers (by 2015) Reduced tax payments Added potential for more service needs when retirement assets run out

10 Pressures for Working Longer: Older Worker Perspective
Eligibility for full Social Security moved to age 67 No Medicare coverage (public health care) until age 65; after 65, need for health care insurance supplement Loss of company pensions – Employers contributing to retirement accounts from 82% early ’90s to 28% now, to predicted low of 15%

11 Pressures for Working Longer: Older Worker Perspective
Lack of savings for retirement 40% of younger Boomers with no savings 32% loss in retirement savings with stock market collapse Loss of net worth with decline in home values Having children in later life “70% of Americans nearing retirement have too much debt and not enough savings to live comfortably for 20-odd years”


13 Impacts of Recession on Older Workers
Males age 45+ hardest hit by layoffs Short term surge in early retirements from employers offering pensions (government, employers with labor unions (6% of total) Desperate need of those without pensions to find employment income – full-time to 62, maybe part-time after 62

14 Older Job Seekers Face Ageism in both the U.S. and Europe
In the U.S., it takes twice as long for an older job seeker to find employment “Over-qualified”; wage expectations too high Deficient in technology skills w/ less training Unfamiliar with pace and process of the current job market Pushed into retirement by inflexible working patterns and benefit patterns

15 The Challenge is to extend work life:
For the economy: To address upcoming talent shortage To avoid pension fund failures For older adults: To earn needed income To find flexible work that matches interests and skills To feel productive

16 What is the best public policy approach to encourage people to work longer? A or B?
Raising the age for pensions: May unfairly punish the unemployable Adds to the punishment of employer cuts in benefits Removing obstacles and providing modest incentives for later life productivity Will match the needs & interests of Boomers

17 Boomers say they want to work past traditional retirement age
From 62% in 2005 to 75% in 2008 Why? Some will work because they want to: Stimulation, social interaction, physical activity, team effort, “identity” Fulfillment and challenge more than income Others will work because they have to: Need income to supplement pension/savings

18 One-half say they want to “give back”
Interest in work for schools, community organizations, environmental efforts, and troubled spots within and outside of the US Shift from “me” to “we,” away from consumerism, accepting dualism of local/global, understanding that everything affects everything else

19 There is a hunger for meaning
In the workplace: “I just do the same thing over and over” “There’s no room for creativity” “The job no longer matches my interests” In retirement: “I stay busy but I miss getting something accomplished through team effort” “Work was my life, and now I have no life.”

20 “Meaningful Work” “Meaningful work” (Each person is different!)
Requires focused effort – a sense of purpose Produces results Attracts positive reinforcement Matches up with passions and skills Stimulates learning Not related to the size of income or the scope of the job, but to satisfaction

21 Meaningful Work is Paid or Unpaid
Work is productivity that benefits you or your family, employer, community, etc. The scope of meaningful work includes volunteering, parenting, learning and caregiving as well as employment Older adults involved in meaningful work are healthier and more satisfied with life than others


23 Examples of Public Policies to Encourage Working Longer
Regulatory reforms: Extend “delayed retirement credit” (Now to 8% a year for postponing claims, to age 70) Remove penalty for continued employment of those claiming benefits between 62 and 67 Incentives: Lifelong learning Accounts Encore Fellowships

24 Need for Pressure on Employers
2006 Survey of Employers, who were told: One-half of their employees will lack the resources needed to retire at traditional age One-fourth of employees will want to stay on the job at least two years past traditional age But the employers said: “Not likely to create opportunities” for even half of these employees to work longer Now.. Employer expectations even more bleak

25 SHiFT: <>
Started 2006 for people in transition seeking meaningful work – ages midlife (40) and beyond – in coffeehouse meeting rooms Networking: Forums, lifework planning groups, workshops, Time Bank, website Midternship: Trying out skills in a new vocational area -- for a modest wage, for a defined period, with coaching

26 What are SHiFTers looking for?
Flexibility – choice and control – when to retire, work roles, work hours, work status Project-focused Teams empowered and stretched to high expectations for results Giving back and making a difference Recognition and respect

27 Discussion with Alliance members
It’s a lot easier for the U.S. to encourage working longer. In France, the unions are strong and everyone’s happy with the way things are (5 week vacations, 35 hour work week, long holiday weekends, retirement at 60 with full pension and health care). In the U.S., you’ve got hard workers who need income & who value “giving back.”

28 Follow-up to IAGG Workshop on “Changing Expectations for Work & Retirement in U.S. and Europe” for Positive Aging Conference Dec 6-9 Florida (see MGS website) – international network of civic leaders sharing program info via website re: lifework planning, productive aging, age friendly communities, lifelong learning, and wellness

29 Come to free a.m. conference on Thursday, December 3, downtown Mpls
Boomers Mean Business: Retaining a Productive Workforce Wells Fargo, Transform 2010 and SHiFT See the MGS Website Jan Hively

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