Helping Employers Become Age-Ready

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Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers
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Sonsino, Yvonne

The evidence shows us that is proving to be a tricky concept for employers to get to grips with. What do we mean by age-ready for starters - do we mean ready for older age workers or do we mean ready for a multi-generational workforce and their perceived differences? The demographic evidence shows us that by 2050, almost one quarter of the world’s population will be aged over 60, almost treble the mid-20th century figure. Given that many of these people will still be at work to finance their longer life expectancy, (pension incentives, state retirement ages and low interest rates are not favouring an early exodus from the workplace), my focus for this paper will be mainly on the older age worker phenomenon. However, it has been interesting to learn, that in solving some of the challenges that this group of workers present, employers can solve many of the challenges faced by other generations in the workplace too. This paper will therefore examine how living longer is likely to influence working longer, how the nature of changes to work itself will influence future generations of work, workers and workplace, and ultimately, the paper will dive deeply into what employers can do to achieve a competitive advantage from the changing demographics. In short – how do employers become age-ready?

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The published version of this Working Paper may be found in the 2018 publication: How Persistent Low Returns Will Shape Saving and Retirement (
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