Call for papers

4. Work in aging societies. Senior employment and retirement transitions in the Nordic countries

Coordinator(s): Anne Skevik Grødem and Ragni Hege Kitterød (Institute for Social Research, Oslo, Norway)

Population ageing is a growing concern in most industrialised countries, including the Nordics. One proposed way to alleviate the challenges associated with ageing is to encourage longer working careers, i.e. later retirement. Initiatives to achieve this aim include rising retirement ages (or lower pensions for those who retire early), special advantages for workers who remain employed past a certain age (e.g. longer holidays or bonuses), and managerial programs to improve organisations’ abilities to retain older workers. Prolonging working lives however implies challenging established notions of the life course, and of who can and ought to be a worker. Such reconfigurations may be motivated by financial concerns, but they have sociological implications. These implications have yet to be fully understood. A lot of work remains in order to fully understand how, and to what extent, the normative life course changes in the face of changing expectations, the implications of later retirement for family relationships, patterns of inequality in retirement, and the position of seniors in rapidly changing Nordic labour markets.

We invite contributions on (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • Retirement decisions: what factors influence when seniors retire (full-time or part-time)?
  • Retirement transitions: how do individuals cope with this major life transition, and how does this vary by gender, family situation and (former) position in the labour market?
  • Seniors’ adaptations in the workplace: how do seniors think about / what are seniors’ practices with regard to skills improvement, change of jobs, movement into / out of management positions? Has this changed over time?
  • The concerns, and practices, of employers in the face of an ageing labour force
  • Senior employees’ level of information about the pension system and their own future pensions, to what extent they seek information and where (if at all) they find it
  • The impact of special advantages targeted at seniors, such as bonuses or extra holidays
  • Forms of ageism, the prevalence of ageism and its effect on senior’ working careers and quality of life
  • Impacts of technological change, work-place reorganisation and labour migration on retirement decisions
  • Inequalities in pensions (present and projected future) in the light of gender, immigrant background, disability, atypical employment and flexible careers