Unemployment still a major risk for elderly workforcetorsdag, 27 september 2018
Although more than half of the Finnish and Dutch population who work in their mid-fifties manage to reach their retirement age, there are many trajectories out of the labour market. Reforms in the 2000s have contributed to longer working lives in both countries, but elderly women and low-educated workers continue to run a greater risk of unemployment and inactivity.
According to a fresh doctoral dissertation, retirement is a long-term process rather than a single event. A comparison between Finland and the Netherlands by Senior Researcher Aart-Jan Riekhoff shows that retirement includes multiple transitions that take place over several years.
“Many people get some other type of pension or benefit before they retire on an old-age pension. For example, both in the Netherlands and Finland, unemployment or sickness often result in an early, permanent exit from the labour market. The risks tend to add up over the life course for people with a low education, insecure jobs and low earnings. As a result, their pensions are quite small. We need interventions at an early stage if we want our older workers to stay in the labour market longer,” Riekhoff says.