Saturday, June 30, 2007

Europe: Is "Active Aging" a Viable Response to Demographic Changes?

According to an article in Euractive.com, European legislation aimed at delaying retirement is having little impact, as employees push for an early exit from the labour market while companies continue to lay off older staff. Following on the need for effective policies to promote opportunities for an aging workforce, "active ageing" is being discussed as a way to keep the support ratio (the number of people of working age per person over the age of 65) bearable: "The concept of active ageing refers to the idea of remaining active as we age by working longer, retiring later, engaging in voluntary work after retirement and practicing healthy-ageing lifestyles."

The article reports on a special session on active ageing, which asked whether active ageing is the only response to demographic change and whether it can work for both companies and employees. Speakers addressed various issues, including how to overcome employers' reluctance with regards to increasing the activity rates of older people, good practices with regards policies in favor of participation in employment and the productivity of the aging workforce, and empowering people to invent new models to organize their lives differently.

Source: Euractiv "Workers unenthusiastic about 'Active Ageing'" (June 5, 2007)

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