Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Iceland, New Zealand and Israel are Leaders in Boosting Employment Rates among Older Workers: PwC Reports

PwC has released it 2018 Golden Age Index and reports that Iceland, New Zealand and Israel are the leaders in boosting employment rates among older workers. In addition, the report finds that extending people’s working lives to reflect the aging of their populations could release massive untapped value for their economies to the tune of US$3.5 trillion across the OECD as a whole in the long run.
Current employment rates for workers aged 55-64 vary dramatically across the OECD, from 84% in Iceland and 78% in New Zealand to 38% in Greece and 34% in Turkey.

For example, increasing the over-55 employment rate to New Zealand levels could deliver a long-run economic boost worth around US$815 billion in the US, US$406 billion in France and US$123 billion in Japan - with the total potential gain across the OECD adding up to around US$3.5 trillion. This economic uplift would be combined with significant social and health benefits from older people leading more active lives and having higher self-worth through continuing to work where they wish to do so.
John Hawksworth, Chief Economist at PwC UK, comments PwC thinks "older workers should be encouraged and supported to remain in the workforce for longer. This would increase GDP, consumer spending power and tax revenues, while also helping to improve the health and wellbeing of older people by keeping them mentally and physically active." In particular, PwC notes that "[s]uccessful policy measures include increasing the retirement age, supporting flexible working, improving the flexibility of pensions, and providing further training and support help older workers become 'digital adopters.'"
The findings from [PwC's rigorous statistical analysis of the underlying drivers of higher employment rates for older workers across 35 OECD countries] include that financial incentives like pension policy and family benefits can influence people’s decision to stay employed, and that longer life expectancy is associated with longer working lives. The study also shows that flexible working and partial retirement options can pay dividends for employers, as can redesign of factories, offices and roles to meet the changing needs and preferences of older workers.
The Golden Age Index provides additional details for each country evaluated. For example, looking at the United Kingdom, PwC points out that:
  • UK ranks 21st out of 35 countries in PwC’s Golden Age Index
  • Up to 23% of UK jobs currently held by 55+ workers could be displaced by automation technology in the next decade
  • South East of England has highest older worker employment rate in the UK at 75.3% compared to 63.2% in Northern Ireland
Sources: PwC News Release (June 18, 2018); PwC UK News Release (June 18, 2018)

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