According to the report, Norway has the fourth-highest employment rate for the age group 55-64 in the OECD area, at 71% in 2012, but Norway’s labor market has a large share of older people on disability benefit: 19.6% of those aged 55-59 in the first quarter of 2012, and 30.5% of those aged 60-64. Among other things, (1) old age pensions for disabled people are to a large extent calculated as they were in the former pension system, and economic incentives to work are not much changed for public sector employees, (2) there is not enough consistency in the setting of age limits in the accrual of additional pension rights, employment protection legislation and other rules concerning mandatory retirement, and (3) even if most older workers in Norway are in stable and high-quality jobs, they experience a very low hiring rate, one-third of the OECD average.
The report recommends that Norway:
- align second-pillar pension schemes for public sector employees with the main principles of the reformed national insurance scheme;
- strengthen gate keeping to the disability scheme, in order to reduce inflows;
- ensure greater age neutrality in employers’ personnel decisions, starting with the hiring process. An objective could be for the hiring rate of older workers in Norway to reach the OECD average;
- simplify and co-ordinate age limit rules, with a view to removing age as a mandatory reason for retirement;
- Ensure that the legislative and organisational framework is neutral with regard to part-time and full-time jobs, and support initiatives to promote a “full-time culture”.