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Retaining older workers – analysis of company surveys from 2005 and 2010

Åsmund Hermansen (Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research, Oslo, Norway)
Tove Midtsundstad (Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research, Oslo, Norway)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 2 November 2015




The purpose of this paper is to shed light on developments in Norwegian companies’ active-ageing policies, and hence offer insight into what characterises those Norwegian companies offering measures to retain their older workers.


The research questions are investigated using data from two surveys carried out among a representative sample of Norwegian companies in 2005 and 2010. The two data sets are analysed both separately and jointly, being merged to obtain a pooled cross-section data set. Both multivariate logistic and linear regression are applied.


The proportion of companies offering retention measures, as well as the extensiveness of their retention efforts (the number of different measures offered), has increased considerably from 2005 to 2010. What characterises these companies however is surprisingly similar in 2005 and 2010. The retention efforts of Norwegian companies seem to be part of a holistic approach to active ageing. Offering a number of different retention measures is more common among companies having initiated “measures to facilitate lifelong learning” and “measures to prevent health problems or reduced work capacity”. The financial incentives embedded in the contractual early retirement scheme seem also to have a significant impact on retention efforts.


The employers’ perspective has received little attention in previous research and the authors are the first to report on developments in Norwegian companies’ retention efforts over time. Knowledge about what characterises employers offering such measures will be important for future efforts to increase employments rates among older workers, which is an aim for most European countries.



This paper has been financed by The Research Council of Norway Grant No. 218364.


Hermansen, Å. and Midtsundstad, T. (2015), "Retaining older workers – analysis of company surveys from 2005 and 2010", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 36 No. 8, pp. 1227-1247.



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