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Sloan Center News

Work After Retirement: Lessons for Employers and Policymakers from the United States

Kevin E. Cahill, Sloan Research Economist, will be presenting at Eurofound’s “Income from Work after Retirement” expert workshop in Brussels, Belgium on Friday, June 15, 2012. Dr. Cahill will discuss how the retirement income landscape in the United States has changed since the mid-1980s, in ways that favor work over leisure. He will also discuss how older Americans have responded to these changes – by working later in life. As Dr. Cahill points out, the average retirement age of men has increased from 63 in the early 2000s to 65 today. What makes the change so dramatic is that this increase represents a reversal of a near-century-long trend toward earlier and earlier retirement that ended in the mid-1980s. Dr. Cahill will provide a look ahead, and note how demographic changes will likely mean that employers will have no choice but to hire older workers. Dr. Cahill views all of these pro-work changes as essentially good news. Employees benefit through increased financial security in their retirement years; employers benefit by tapping into a valuable resource – older workers and their lifetime of experience; and the country as a whole benefits as more goods and services are produced, to be distributed across an aging population.