Ageism is alive and well, with old-age stereotypes lurking in public and private institutions. From the water cooler to the webpage, negative age bias is frustratingly prevalent. For older individuals, recognizing the current reality is a difficult, yet necessary, first step toward self-empowerment. Those who take that step position themselves to make their later years as productive and purposeful as they can be.
Canada is expecting rapid population aging over the coming decades, a fact that has led many observersto question the sustainability of its pension systems. The effects of population aging, however, could
be mitigated by an extension of the working life. This article presents the results of a critical review of
Canadian knowledge about the determinants of retirement age and labour-market participation of older
workers. The determinants are grouped under ten ‘‘domains’’ covering micro, meso, and macro levels:
labour market, legislation, financial factors, social position, domestic domain, human resource management,
work-related factors, health, work ability, and motivation.
The Nova Scotia Department of Seniors works to ensure the inclusion and well-being of older adults in Nova Scotia by providing policyleadership and coordination across government to enable and enhance the participation in and contribution by older adults to all aspects of Nova Scotia life. The Department’s primary focus is leading the development of policy options that recognize and encourage the economic and social contributions of older adults in Nova Scotia.
Supporting those mature-age workers who wish to continue working is a key policy challenge arising from the Intergenerational Report 2010. As previous research indicates, there are many factors that influence labour market engagement of those approaching retirement. This paper examines those factors with a particular focus on the role of occupations and job characteristics. The analysis centres on the labour market transition of men and women aged between 55 and 64 years old over a time period of approximately one year. The data used for our analysis is drawn from the first 7 waves of the HILDA data and we utilize a multinomial logit (MNL) model to determine the characteristics associated with remaining in full-time employment, moving into full retirement and/or moving into partial retirement. Consistent with previous research, we find that certain household and financial factors such as the labour force status of a partner, wages and home ownership are associated with the retirement paths of mature-age people. Further the results indicate that certain occupations and job characteristics are significantly correlated with the employment engagement of mature-age workers.
As Canadaís baby boomers ease into retirement, there is a timeliness to concerns expressed in the popular media that, as many workers leave the workforce, Canadaís elderly dependency ratio will rise, and more and more retirees will have to be supported by relatively fewer members of the workforce (Globe and Mail 2006; Guillemette 2003). This raises questions as to the economic well-being and average living standards of the population as relatively fewer workers are involved in producing output in Canada. It also poses concerns for the fiscal health and fiscal environment of government budgets as pension and health costs rise and as the traditional tax base of the working population declines in relative size (Toronto Star 2008). Obviously, these concerns are not unique to Canada, but are faced by most Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, which have been experiencing declining fertility rates and longer lifespans. They also raise the question of whether Canada and other such countries are going to experience reduced living standards as a result of their aging populations. And, consequently, what is the possible role for public policy to improve economic well-being in light of this changing environment (OECD 2005)? But an aging population and slower labour force growth also provide an opportunity to review a number of labour market, social security, and tax policies with an eye to providing greater flexibility to life-course work patterns and reduced impediments to transitioning more flexibly into retirement, based on workersí range of choices (PRI 2003; SRI 2008; Halliwell 2008).