This article reviews the behavioural effects of Finland’s pension reforms in 2005 and 2017. With employment rates in older age groups at relatively low levels, both these reforms aimed to encourage later retirement and introduced a flexible old-age retirement age, initially between ages 63–68 and progressively raised to 65–70 years. However, the two reforms differed notably in terms of the means adopted. The 2005 reform relied heavily on “carrots”, i.e. individual choices and financial incentives. In the 2017 reform, “sticks” had a much bigger role, raising the age of eligibility for old-age pension. We consider how the behavioural effects of these two policies differed from each other. The article reviews the existing literature on pre-reform policy evaluations concerning the effects of the pension reforms and explores actual post-reform retirement behaviour based on studies that use register and survey data. It is shown that the 2005 reform failed to induce later retirement, and that employees in higher socio-economic positions benefited more from financial incentives associated with later retirement. In this regard, the 2017 reform, which will automatically increase retirement age via a higher age of eligibility, treats different socio-economic groups more equally.
The decision to raise the employment protection age limit in Norway (from 70 to 72) evoked considerable debate, with both employers’ associations and most trade union confederations opposing the change. The arguments set forth revealed a need for more knowledge about the oldest workers, and factors contributing to a late exit from the labour market. In this article, we use panel data from the Norwegian Life course, Ageing and Generation Study (2007, 2017) to explore previous work history of those who end up with careers extending beyond typical retirement age (i.e. 67). Our findings indicate that men and women who are still working when aged 67–75 have a history of high work engagement and work effort. Compared to their non-working peers in 2017, they were more likely to consider work as very important in life, perceive their job motivation as stable or improved, work long hours, be self-employed, and either have planned a late exit or made no retirement plans ten years earlier (2007). All in all, a strong inner drive for work seems to be central for a prolonged career; although among women, some may have to remain in the labour market due to financial reasons.
Formålet med artiklen er at analysere den tidlige tilbagetrækning fra arbejdsmarkedet i spændingsfeltet mellem den danske flexicuritymodel og forandringer i det danske pensionssystem. Artiklen viser, hvorledes en markant stigende forventet pensionsalder er blevet et centralt omdrejningspunkt i bestræbelserne på at øge beskæftigelsen, forøge skatteindtægterne og reducere de offentlige udgifter til velfærdsydelser.
The article analyses the development of retirement conditions for older workers in Denmark in the context of flexicurity and the evolution of the pension system. It documents how a rise in the pension eligibility age has recently become the pivot of a long-standing strategy for higher employment, larger tax revenues and lower public expenses predicated on the expansion of labor supply through cuts in the access to welfare benefits. The Danish pension system is already designed to release extra tax revenues and lower public pension cost at the height of population ageing. By linking the pensionable age to developments in life expectancy, the Ministry of Finance seeks to neutralize a further good portion of the economic and budgetary effects of population ageing and thus create fiscal room for other spending. Yet, the expectation that the average retirement age will continue to rise in line with the ever-higher pension age is unrealistic. Instead, an expanding gap between the two is likely to develop. Hence, the fiscal room for maneuvering held out by the Ministry of Finance and counted on by Danish politicians is improbable.
As a part of an international extending working life trend, Norway recently raised the mandatory retirement age (MRA) from 70 to 72 years. This article discusses possible effects on managers’ attitudes and behaviour towards older workers. This is of particular interest because employers’ federations and central unions opposed the reform as they feared considerable negative consequences both for older workers and for employers. Data are collected by mixed methods. The Norwegian Senior Policy Barometer for the years 2013 through 2018 interviewed managers in 600 private sector companies each year. In addition, qualitative interviews were performed with managers and HR directors in 19 companies with employees 67 years and older. The results indicate that the fear of negative effects was exaggerated. We find no clear changes in the years around the implementation of the new MRA in the rather positive conceptions of older workers, in the more modest desire to recruit older workers, or in the reluctance to call applicants above 58 years of age in for interview. The government launched the reform to, in the long run, encourage higher employment in older age groups and to eliminate age discrimination in working life. To confirm or refute such changes requires further studies in the years to come.
Nordisk välfärdsforskning | Nordic Welfare Research ble etablert i 2016 og publiserer artikler innen et bredt spekter av velferdspolitiske temaer om de nordiske velferdssamfunn, som levekår og livssituasjon i befolkningen, arbeidsliv og arbeidsinkludering, sosiale tjenester, omsorg, folkehelse og funksjonshemming.
Tidsskriftet utgis inntil fire ganger i året og inneholder fagfellevurderte artikler på dansk, engelsk, norsk og svensk. Språkene er likestilt.
Tidsskriftet har som mål å være et flerfaglig, vitenskapelig tidsskrift. Det publiserer forskningsbaserte artikler som bygger på empirisk og/eller teoretiske analyser av høy faglig kvalitet. Tidsskriftets målgrupper er forskere og akademikere, studenter, politiske og administrative beslutningstakere, profesjonsutøvere, interesseorganisasjoner, media og en bred allmennhet.
Sven Bremberg, Karolinska Institutet, Sverige
Trine Wulf-Andersen, Roskilde Universitet, Danmark
Snæfríður Þóra Egilson, Universitetet i Island, Island
Tom Kettunen, Helsingfors Universitet, Finland
John Eriksen, OsloMet og Fafo, Norge
Design: Type-it AS, Trondheim
Sats: Tekstflyt AS
Omslagsdesign: KORD / Sissel Tjernstad
ISSN online: 2464-4161
Tidsskriftet utgis av Universitetsforlaget AS (Scandinavian University Press) på vegne av Nordens välfärdscenter og Fafo Institutt for arbeidsliv- og velferdsforskning.
© Universitetsforlaget 2020 / Scandinavian University Press.