“Retirement at 67” – Findings on the Employment Situation of Older Female Workers

Barbara Zimmer, Verena Leve, Gerhard Naegele

Abstract


The Age Limit Adjustment Act, which was adopted in 2007, constitutes a climax in the developments of a paradigm shift in pension policy towards remaining at work for longer. This development entails profound changes and restrictions on benefits for assured persons. In future, many of the insurable employed will not receive a pension without incurring deductions until they reach the age of 67. Both employers and employees are faced with new challenges if they wish to avoid pension reductions in the event of an early retirement and consequently possible precarious incomes at old age. Especially women need particular support in this regard, given that in structural terms, they are in a weaker position on the labour market.

Against this background, a representative nationwide survey of 1,800 female workers born between 1947 and 1964 was commissioned by the New Quality of Work Initiative (INQA) and conducted by the Institute of Gerontology at the Technical University of Dortmund in cooperation with TNS Infratest in 2007. These cohorts are to be affected by the increase of the age limit from 2012 onwards. In addition to structural data, this survey studied the respondents’ assessment of their current ability to work and to continue to work until reaching the standard age limit. Further, the survey explored specific working conditions and strains of work. The results show that more than 40 % of the female respondents are sceptical about the conditions of being able to continue their current work until reaching their statutory age limit. The only moderate to poor workability and the consequential danger of having to leave work result e.g. from work-related strains which accumulate in certain sectors and professional groups. The creation of appropriate jobs for older workers as well as the implementation of a staff policy in companies, which is sensitive to demographic developments and individual circumstances, can contribute to maintaining and nurturing the workability.

Keywords


Labour; Demographic Change; Female employees; Work conditions; Pension; Workability

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