Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Retirement plans and active ageing: perspectives in three countries

  • ANDREA PRINCIPI (a1), SARA SANTINI (a1), MARCO SOCCI (a1), DEBORAH SMEATON (a2), KEVIN E. CAHILL (a3), SANDRA VEGERIS (a2) and HELEN BARNES (a2)...
Abstract
ABSTRACT

This study explores whether the plans of older workers on the cusp of retirement are in line with the active ageing agenda set by policy makers in Europe. The study was carried out in Italy, England, and the United States of America (USA). A total of 133 older workers who planned to retire within the next 10–12 months were interviewed (55 in England, 40 in Italy and 38 in the USA) between May 2014 and early 2015 using common semi-structured questions. Active Ageing Index dimensions were used to gauge the orientation of older people towards their retirement. The results of the study suggest that, with some differences, retirement plans of interviewees were substantially consistent with the active ageing perspective. However, some challenges were highlighted, including the need for governments to do more to promote genuine freedom of choice in relation to leaving the labour market, and to provide greater support for informal family carers. Findings also pointed to the need to measure active ageing in connection with individual wellbeing, e.g. by including indicators of leisure activities and by considering the re-weighting of employment and informal care dimensions. Companies could also provide more support during the retirement transition, with opportunities for maintained social connection with former colleagues, and help in making and fulfilling retirement plans.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Andrea Principi, INRCA – National Institute of Health & Science on Ageing, Centro Ricerche Economico-Sociali per l'Invecchiamento, Via S. Margherita, 5, 60124, Ancona, Italy E-mail: a.principi@inrca.it
References
Hide All
AnttonenA. and SipiläJ. 1996. European social care services: is it possible to identify models? Journal of European Social Policy, 6, 2, 87100.
AtchleyR. C. 1989. A continuity theory of normal ageing. The Gerontologist, 29, 2, 183–90.
AtchleyR. C. 2000. Social Forces and Aging. Ninth edition, Wadsworth Publishing, Belmont, California.
BambraC. 2004. The worlds of welfare: illusory and gender blind? Social Policy and Society, 3, 3, 201–11.
BanksJ., BlundellR., BozioA. and EmmersonC. 2010. Releasing jobs for the young? Early retirement and youth unemployment in the United Kingdom. In GruberJ. and WiseD. A. (eds), Social Security Programs and Retirement Around the World: The Relationship to Youth Unemployment. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 319–44.
BazalgetteL., CheethamP. and GristM. 2012. Ageing Sociably. Demos, London.
BettioF. and PlantengaJ. 2004. Comparing care regimes in Europe. Feminist Economics, 10, 1, 85113.
ButlerR. N. and GleasonH. P. 1985. Productive Aging: Enhancing Vitality in Later Life. Springer, New York.
BylesJ., TavenerM., RobinsonI., ParkinsonL., SmithP. W., StevensonD., LeighL. and CurryerC. 2013. Transforming retirement: new definitions of life after work. Journal of Women & Aging, 25, 1, 2444.
CahillK. E., GiandreaM. D. and QuinnJ. F. 2015. Evolving patterns of work and retirement. In GeorgeL. and FerraroK. (eds), The Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences. Eighth edition, Elsevier, New York, 271–92.
CalasantiT. M. 1996. Incorporating diversity: meaning, levels of research, and implications for theory. The Gerontologist, 36, 2, 147–56.
CaroF., BassS. and ChenY. P. 1993. Achieving a Productive Ageing Society. Auburn House, Westport, Connecticut.
CoeN. B. and van HoutvenC. 2009. Caring for mom and neglecting yourself? The health effects of caring for an elderly parent. Health Economics, 18, 9, 9911010.
ColomboF., Llena-NozalA., MercierJ. and TjadensF. 2011. Help Wanted? Providing and Paying for Long-term Care. OECD Publishing, Paris.
Congressional Budget Office 2001. Social Security: A Primer. Government Printing Office, Washington DC.
CummingE. and HenryW. E. 1961. Growing Old. Basic, New York.
DeemingC. 2009. ‘Active ageing’ in practice: a case study in East London, UK. Policy & Politics, 37, 1, 93111.
Department for Work and Pensions 2015. 2010 to 2015 Government Policy: Older People. Policy Paper, UK Government. Available online at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/2010-to-2015-government-policy-older-people/2010-to-2015-government-policy-older-people [Accessed 31 July 2015].
Di RosaM., MelchiorreM. G., LucchettiM. and LamuraG. 2012. The impact of migrant work in the elder care sector: recent trends and empirical evidence in Italy. European Journal of Social Work, 15, 1, 927.
EichhorstW., BoeriT., BragaM., De CoenA., GalassoV., GerardM., KendziaM., MayrhuberC., PedersenJ. L., SchmidlR. and SteiberN. 2013. Combining the Entry of Young People in the Labour Market with the Retention of Older Workers. European Parliament, Brussels.
EkerdtD. J., KosloskiK. and De VineyS. 2000. The normative anticipation of retirement by older workers. Research on Aging, 22, 1, 322.
Esping-AndersenG. 1990. The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. Polity Press, Cambridge.
Esping-AndersenG. 1999. Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
European Commission 2014. About the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing. A Europe 2020 Initiative, Innovation Union. Available online at http://ec.europa.eu/research/innovation-union/index_en.cfm?section=active-healthy-ageing&pg=about [Accessed 31 July 2015].
EvansL., EkerdtD. J. and BosseR. 1985. Proximity to retirement and anticipatory involvement: findings from the normative aging study. Journal of Gerontology, 40, 3, 368–74.
FasangA. E. 2012. Retirement patterns and income inequality. Social Forces, 90, 3, 685711.
FerreraM. 1996. The ‘southern’ model of welfare in social Europe. Journal of European Social Policy, 6, 1, 1736.
FosterL. and WalkerA. 2015. Active and successful aging: a European policy perspective. The Gerontologist, 55, 1, 8390.
FreedmanM. 1999. Prime Time: How Baby Boomers Will Revolutionize Retirement and Transform America. Public Affairs, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
GaleD. 2014. Changing the choice architecture of ageing: live different and ‘catch old’. The New Bioethics, 20, 2, 124–40.
GeeS. and BaillieJ. 1999. Happily ever after? An exploration of retirement expectations. Educational Gerontology, 25, 2, 109–28.
GilleardC. and HiggsP. 2002. The third age: class, cohort or generation? Ageing & Society, 22, 3, 369–82.
GolantS. M. 2014. Age-friendly Communities: Are We Expecting Too Much? IRPP Insight 5, Institute for Research on Public Policy, Montreal. Available online at http://irpp.org/wp-content/uploads/assets/research/faces-of-aging/age-friendly/golant-feb-2014.pdf [Accessed 31 July 2015].
GreenfieldE. A. 2015. Healthy aging and age-friendly community initiatives. Public Policy & Aging Report, 25, 2, 43–6.
GreenfieldE. A., OberlinkM., ScharlachA. E., NealM. and StaffordP. 2015. Community aging initiatives: conceptual issues and key questions for an emerging paradigm. The Gerontologist, 55, 2, 191–8.
HansonK. and WapnerS. 1994. Transition to retirement: gender differences. International Journal of Aging & Human Development, 39, 3, 189208.
HavighurstR. J. 1961. Successful aging. The Gerontologist, 1, 1, 813.
HewittA., HowieL. and FeldmanS. 2010. Retirement: what will you do? A narrative inquiry of occupation-based planning for retirement: implications for practice. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 57, 1, 816.
HinterlongJ., Morrow-HowellN. and SherradenM. 2001. Productive aging: principles and perspectives. In Morrow-HowellN., HinterlongJ. and SherradenM. (eds), Productive Aging: Concepts and Challenges. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, 319.
HofäckerD. 2015. In line or at odds with active ageing policies? Exploring patterns of retirement preferences in Europe. Ageing & Society, 35, 7, 1529–56.
HooymanN. and KiyakH. 2000. Social Gerontology: A Multidisciplinary Perspective. Allyn and Bacon Press, Boston, Massachusetts.
House of Commons 2015. Pensions: International Comparisons. Standard Note SN/SGS/00290, Social & General Statistics Section, House of Commons Library, London. Available online at http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN00290/SN00290.pdf [Accessed 31 July 2015].
HungL. W., KempenG. I. J. M. and De VriesN. K. 2010. Cross-cultural comparison between academic and lay views of healthy ageing: a literature review. Ageing & Society, 30, 8, 1373–91.
HydeM., FerrieJ., HiggsP., MeinG. and NazrooJ. 2004. The effects of pre-retirement factors and retirement route on circumstances in retirement: findings from the Whitehall II study. Ageing & Society, 24, 2, 279–96.
JonssonH., KielhofnerG. and BorellL. 1997. Anticipating retirement: the formation of narratives concerning an occupational transition. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 51, 1, 4956.
JunJ. 2014. Balance Beyond Work Life: An Empirical Study of Older People's Time Use in the UK. University of Oxford, Oxford.
LainD. 2011. Helping the poorest help themselves? Encouraging employment past 65 in England and the USA. Journal of Social Policy, 40, 3, 493512.
MoenP. 2005. Beyond the career mystique: ‘time in,’ ‘time out,’ and ‘second acts’. Sociological Forum, 20, 2, 189208.
MunnellA. H. 2014. 401(k)/IRA holdings in 2013: an update from the SCF. Issue Brief 14–15, The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
NeilsonB. 2006. Anti-ageing cultures, biopolitics and globalisation. Cultic Studies Review, 12, 2, 149–64.
NeubergerF. S. and HaberkernK. 2013. Structured ambivalence in grandchild care and the quality of life among European grandparents. European Journal of Ageing, 11, 2, 171–81.
NimrodG., JankeM. C. and KleiberD. A. 2008. Retirement, activity, and subjective well-being in Israel and the United States. World Leisure Journal, 50, 1, 1832.
NordenmarkM. and StattinM. 2009. Psychosocial wellbeing and reasons for retirement in Sweden. Ageing & Society, 29, 3, 413–30.
Nuttman-SchwartzO. 2004. Like a high wave: adjustment to retirement. The Gerontologist, 44, 2, 229–36.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 2006. Live Longer, Work Longer. OECD, Paris.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 2013. Pensions at a Glance 2013: OECD and G20 Indicators. OECD, Paris.
Pension Policy Institute 2015. Pension Facts March 2015. Available online at http://www.pensionspolicyinstitute.org.uk/pension-facts/pension-facts-tables [Accessed 31 July 2015].
PikeE. 2011. The active aging agenda, old folk devils and a new moral panic. Sociology of Sport Journal, 28, 2, 209–25.
PortasM. 2011 The Portas Review: An Independent Review into the Future of Our High Streets. Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, London.
PriceC. A. 2002. Retirement for women: the impact of employment. Journal of Women & Aging, 14, 3/4, 4157.
PriceC. A. and NesterukO. 2010. Creating retirement paths: examples from lives of women. Journal of Women & Aging, 22, 2, 136–49.
PrincipiA., CheccucciP., Di RosaM. and LamuraG. 2015. Characteristics of working pensioners in Italy: between early retirement tradition and reforms to extend working life. In SchergerS. (ed.), Paid Work Beyond Pension Age – Comparative Perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan, London, 81106.
PrincipiA., ChiattiC. and LamuraG. 2014. Older volunteers in Italy: an underestimated phenomenon? In PrincipiA., JensenP. H. and LamuraG. (eds), Active Ageing: Voluntary Work by Older People in Europe. Policy Press, Bristol, UK, 4770.
RanzijnR. 2010. Active ageing – another way to oppress marginalised and disadvantaged elders? Aboriginal elders as a case study. Journal of Health Psychology, 15, 5, 716–23.
ReherD. S. 1998. Family ties in Western Europe: persistent contrasts. Population and Development Review, 24, 2, 203–34.
RitchieJ. 2013. Qualitative Research Practice. Sage, London.
RobinsonO. C., DemetreJ. D. and CorneyR. H. 2011. The variable experiences of becoming retired and seeking retirement guidance: a qualitative thematic analysis. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 39, 3, 239–58.
RoweJ. W. and KahnR. L. 1987. Human aging: usual versus successful. Science, 237, 4811, 143–9.
RoweJ. W. and KahnR. L. 1997. Successful aging. The Gerontologist, 37, 4, 433–40.
RoweJ. W. and KahnR. L. 2015. Successful aging 2.0: conceptual expansions for the 21st century. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 70B, 4, 593–6.
ScharlachA. E. 2012. Creating aging-friendly communities in the United States. Ageing International, 37, 1, 2538.
SchlossbergN. 2004. Retire Smart, Retire Happy: Finding Your True Path in Life. American Psychological Association, Washington DC.
TomassiniC., GlaserK., WolfD. A., Broese van GroenouM. I. and GrundyE. 2004. Living arrangements among older people: an overview of trends in Europe and the USA. Population Trends, 115, 1, 2434.
Trading Economics 2015. Indicators – Labour: Youth Unemployment Rate. Available online at http://www.tradingeconomics.com/country-list/youth-unemployment-rate [Accessed 31 July 2015].
WalkerA. 2011. The Future of Ageing Research in Europe: A Road Map. University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
WalkerA. and MaltbyT. 2012. Active ageing: a strategic policy solution to demographic ageing in the European Union. International Journal of Social Welfare, 21, S1, S11730.
WeissR. S. 2005. The Experience of Retirement. ILR/Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York.
WinstonN. A. and BarnesJ. 2007. Anticipation of retirement among baby boomers. Journal of Women & Aging, 19, 3/4, 137–59.
World Health Organisation (WHO) 2002. Active Ageing: A Policy Framework. WHO, Geneva.
ZaidiA. 2014. Surveying the aging landscape. AARP International: The Journal. Available online at http://journal.aarpinternational.org/a/b/2014/03/surveying-the-aging-landscape [Accessed 31 July 2015].
ZaidiA., GasiorK., HofmarcherM. M., LelkesO., MarinB., RodriguesR., SchmidtA., VanhuysseP. and ZolyomiE. 2013. Active Ageing Index 2012. Concept, Methodology and Final Results. European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, Vienna.
ZaidiA. and StantonD. 2015. Active Ageing Index 2014: Analytical Report. UNECE and European Commission, Geneva and Brussels.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Ageing & Society
  • ISSN: 0144-686X
  • EISSN: 1469-1779
  • URL: /core/journals/ageing-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 8
Total number of PDF views: 90 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 420 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.