Extending working lives: opportunities, constraints and individual expectations in an ageing society
Cancio Oliveira, Teresa
CIES (Grantholder) ISCTE Portugal, Portugal
For the last 3 decades the period spent in paid work has been shrinking, with early exit at the upper end and the extension of schooling at the lower end of the work life contributing to this outcome from both directions. The period spent in retirement is also expanding in both directions, as a result of early exit and increasing life expectancy. Thus, what has been the standard "threefold life course" is being massively reorganized, relations between age groups and generations are being redefined and expectations concerning retirement and later life are suffering changes.
Recently, European countries have been implementing a set of measures and recommendations to promote and support extension of working lives in order to face concerns with economic growing and social protection in future. Portugal is not an exception, also having carried out some measures concerning age of retirement. Those measures have had its first step with Ministers Council Resolution 141/2006 of 25th October.
The proposed PhD research project focuses on the analysis of the processes of transition to retirement, in a setting of increasing life expectancy, development of political and institutional arrangements aiming to promote longer lives at paid work and changing social representations about ageing and retirement.
The study will be developed, mainly, at the following levels: 1) At the workplace context (meso level), age management practices and employers' attitudes through older workers will be analyzed and characterized, questioning how both contribute to achieve goals sat at macro level. 2) at the individual level the focus will be on older workers (older than 55 years old) expectations and future plans concerning life after age retirement and how they evaluate opportunities and conditions to extend working lives at workplace.
In regard the meso level, data will be collected, mainly, by structured interviews with human resources managers in different organizational settings, in order to compare activity sectors placed either in private or public domains. At the micro level the inquiry will include biographical interviews with workers older than 55.