4. 'New' perspectives on pensions and retirement

Dirk Hofäcker, MZES,  University of Mannheim, Germany, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Katja Möhring,  University of Cologne, Germany,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Throughout recent decades, gradual shifts in pension (from predominantly public pensions to multi-pillar systems), labour market (from secure employment relationships to atypical employment and flexible careers) and ageing policies (from promoting early retirement to ‘productive ageing’) have fundamentally transformed the meaning of late-career employment and retirement: Employment exit occurs at variable ages, increasingly oriented at individual needs, abilities and preferences rather than at standard retirement ages. Empirical research identifies a group of ‘working pensioners’ that continue to work throughout retirement. The flexibilization of employment histories and the fragmentation of family ties bring about new insecurities for retirement income and care arrangements in modern societies.

Taken together, these developments imply challenges not only for social policy, but also for companies and families.The aim of the stream is to explore which consequences these shifts in the meaning of late career employment and retirement entail at different societal levels:

• At the individual level, it may be asked how the increasing de-standardization of retirement transitions has affected individual planning for retirement and the post-retirement phase.

• At the household level, the question arises how intergenerational exchange can be organized given increasing uncertainty about retirement timing and material security in old age, both in terms of monetary transfers as well as the provision of care.
• In light of the changes outlined, firms and companies face the need to redesign their strategies of human resource management towards an ageing workforce.

• Finally, at the national level, it remains a major challenge how welfare and labor market policies can be redesigned as flexible ‘life course policies’ to accommodate for the ongoing changes in late career employment and retirement.

The stream invites papers focusing on developments at any of these levels, and particularly welcomes contributions connecting developments in two or more areas. Submissions may be either nation-specific or comparative.


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