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Do European employers support later retirement?

Hendrik P. van Dalen (Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI), The Hague, The Netherlands and the Department of Economics, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands)
Kène Henkens (Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI), The Hague, The Netherlands and the Department of Sociology, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands)
Wilma Henderikse (VanDoorneHuiskes en Partners, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Joop Schippers (Department of Economics, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 15 June 2010

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine whether employers' opinions and expectations regarding workers' retirement age are in line with the ideas of the EU‐Member States' governments to increase the participation of older workers and to postpone the transition from paid work into retirement at the end of the labour market career.

Design/methodology/approach

A comparative survey was used among employers from five European countries: Greece, Hungary, Spain, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Findings

The authors found that most employers are reluctant in supporting later retirement. Part of this reluctance is the result of the perception that an ageing work force is a burden rather than a boom to organizations.

Originality/value

This study shows that there still is a discrepancy between the aims formulated at the level of the European Union and member state countries with respect to stimulating the labour force participation of older workers and the attitudes of individual employers. In particular, the fact that employers perceive alternative solutions to the challenges of an ageing and shrinking workforce, other than delaying retirement, suggests that most employers will not be a major driving force for extending the working life.

Keywords

Citation

van Dalen, H.P., Henkens, K., Henderikse, W. and Schippers, J. (2010), "Do European employers support later retirement?", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 360-373. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437721011050620

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited