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Social inequalities in extending working lives of an ageing workforce / EXTEND

Tasks and Aims

EXTEND is primarily looking at social inequalities in chances and constraints to extend working life. Its prime socio-political rationale can be viewed in the current retirement and pension policies in most EU member states which have a strong focus on raising retirement ages and financially incentivising longer working life. Yet so far these policies have paid little attention to growing social inequalities which benefit those most able to work longer and disadvantage those unable to work longer.

In analysing unequally distributed chances and risks of working longer on the one side and of implications for quality of life and well being on the other, EXTEND takes up a research perspective which so far in retirement research has been underdeveloped. The research focuses not only on the societal macro level but explicitly looks into a sector (the social services sector) where the goal of longer working lives is confronted with particular barriers which disproportionately affect health- and care-professionals. The research is “solution driven” in that the project is looking for innovative solutions on different levels, including pension- and retirement policies, improving the employability of an ageing workforce, measures for healthy ageing in work. The most prominent objective of the project is to reduce social inequalities in retirement structures, which is necessary if extending working life is to become an alternative for many and not just for those already privileged in their employment prospects during their earlier working life.

Partners of the consortium:

  • Institute of Gerontology at TU Dortmund University (Prof. Dr. Gerhard Naegele)
  • University of  Sheffield (UoS)  (Prof. Dr. Alan Walker),
  • Aaalborg University (AAU) (Prof. Dr. Per Jensen)
  • University Medical Center Amsterdam (VUmc) (Prof. Dr. Dorly J.H. Deeg)
  • Institute for Work and Technology Gelsenkirchen (IAT) (Prof. Dr. Josef Hilbert)
  • Dortmund University (TUD) (Prof. Dr. Monika Reichert)
  • Finnish Institute for Occupational Health (FIOH) (Prof. Dr. Jukka Vuori)