When and Why Do Employers (Re)Hire Employees beyond Normal Retirement Age?

Orlaith Tunney , Nederlands Interdisciplinair Demografisch Instituut (NIDI-KNAW)
Jaap Oude Mulders, NIDI

The changing demographic makeup of developed countries is expected to result in significant labor shortages. Consequently, older workers are increasingly being encouraged to work beyond normal retirement age (NRA). Given that employers generally control the opportunities for employees to work beyond NRA, better understanding their motivations, attitudes, and experiences in (re)hiring employees beyond NRA is vital. To date however, research investigating work after NRA has primarily focused on the perspectives and experiences of employees. In this article, we study which factors influence whether employers (re)hire older workers to work beyond NRA, using data from a 2017 survey of 1,256 Dutch employers. Among those who had employed workers beyond NRA, we further investigated the predictors of employer attitudes and the employment arrangements used. Half of the organizations had experience employing people beyond NRA, although most only did so incidentally. Most organizations only (re)hired workers beyond NRA if they had unique knowledge or experience, and at the initiative of the worker. Organizations where social norms were more accepting of working beyond NRA, and where employers were not concerned about older workers blocking the career path of younger workers, were more likely to employ workers beyond NRA. Insights gained from the current research can help guide future research and policy to support successful longer working lives, from both employee and employer perspectives.

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 Presented in Session 38. Ageing and Retirement