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Organizational initiatives and individual agreements: how to motivate the elderly to an extended working life?

Research project
Active research
Project size
3 987 000
Project period
2020 - 2024
Project owner
Department of Sociology and Work Science

Short description

One of the biggest challenges for today's welfare states is the "aging society", ie a continuously growing proportion of the elderly in the population. This development means great economic strain on modern societies, as an older population consumes more welfare services compared with a younger one, and this at the same time as they are less involved in the labor market. As life expectancy has increased in the population, the Pension Age Inquiry (SOU 2013: 25) considers it necessary to extend working life. This is so that pensions will not be too low and so that welfare can continue to be maintained. A common strategy for dealing with the consequences of an aging society today is to raise the retirement age and to stimulate people to work longer.

Although labour participation in old age has increased, it is known, however, that some people cannot or have difficulty being able to work later in life. Raising the retirement age from the Riksdag is therefore only one of several steps that are necessary to achieve the goal of an extended working life. A significant part of the concrete work to realize this for more groups of employees needs to take place at workplaces and in organizations. There are large knowledge gaps here and this research project aims to improve knowledge about workplace-specific initiatives to create better conditions for a long and sustainable working life. The purpose of the project is to analyze the meanings of strategies and methods for keeping older employees longer in work.

The project analyzes the existence of, individual employment agreements between employees and employers and how these affect employees' pension preferences. More specifically, the project studies a) the existence of individualized measures for older employees b) whether individualized measures have any significance for employees' pension preference c) which (gender, occupational categories, health, etc.) employees receive individual-specific adjustments d) how affect individual conditions (e.g., gender, health, finances, etc.,) and working conditions (such as physical, cognitive, mental and emotional demands) the importance of individually tailored working conditions?


Daniel Seldén, project leader

Lotta Dellve
Caroline Hasselgren
Mikael Stattin, Umeå University, Department of Sociology
Daniel Larsson, Umeå University, Department of Sociology