Extending Working Life
The ageing workforce in Australia is an issue of major importance from a number of perspectives. First, as the proportion of people who retire increases, there is a smaller population proportion contributing to the Gross National Product and greater strain is placed on existing resources for health and welfare. Second, an additional burden is also placed on the younger workforce in terms of productivity and taxation to pay for services. Today Governments are encouraging older workers to continue their working life and reduce taxation burdens, however, the ability of older people to do this depends on their existing health and maintaining vital health into older age. It also depends on the ability of both older workers and the employers to be flexible in the approach to work and the incentives that will encourage a longer working life. To date there has been little Australian research on this important question of extending working life and the factors mentioned here. It is the Observatory’s objective to fill these gaps with a comprehensive research program in 2011.