Although the average retirement age in OECD countries has remained relatively stable since 1970, longer life expectancy has increased the amount of time in retirement, from an average of 13 years (for women and men) in 1970 to 20 years in 2015. This threatens the financial sustainability of pension systems. As a result, many countries have discontinued early retirement policies and raised the official retirement age. Some have introduced flexible or partial retirement schemes, or created automatic-adjustment mechanisms for increases in life expectancy. These are intended to enable older workers to remain active in the workforce by reducing their working time and compensating lost income with benefits or a partial pension.
Indeed, between 2006 and 2016, the effective labour market exit age rose from 62 to about 64 years, on average across OECD countries. At the same time, employment rates for individuals aged 55 to 64 increased from 53% to 59%, and for those aged 60 to 69, from 20% to almost 26%. There was even a modest, 3% increase in workers aged 70 to 74 during the period. It is becoming increasingly essential for governments and employers to offer training programmes to maintain and improve workers’ skills throughout their careers. Linear career paths, and clear distinctions between working and non-working time might be things of the past – and not only for older people.
Longer working lives and rapidly changing skill demands increase the need for continuous learning throughout life. Should some form of lifelong learning be compulsory? Should lifelong learning be a right?
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Envisioning the future of education and jobs: trends, data and drawings