Transition from the Labor Market: Older Workers and Retirement Academic Article uri icon


  • The new millennium has seen the projected growth of older populations as a source of many problems, not the least of which is how to sustain this increasingly aging population. Some decades ago, early retirement from work posed few problems for governments, but most nations are now trying to ensure that workers remain in the workforce longer. In this context, the role played by older employees can be affected by at least two factors: their productivity (or perceived productivity) and their acceptance by younger workers and management. If the goal of maintaining employees into older age is to be achieved and sustained, opportunities must be provided, for example, for more flexible work arrangements and more possibilities to pursue bridge employment (work after formal retirement). The retirement experience varies, depending on people's circumstances. Some people, for example, have retirement forced upon them by illness or injury at work, by ill-health (such as chronic illnesses), or by downsizing and associated redundancies. This article focuses on the problems and opportunities associated with working to an older age or leaving the workforce early, particularly due to factors beyond one's control.

publication date

  • October 2010