Introduction: Pre- and Post-Retirement Self-Employment: Broadening Existing Horizons

  • Natalie Sappleton
  • Fernando Lourenço


The prolongation of life expectancy, concomitant with the shrinking of the younger population, has brought about a shift in old-age dependency ratios and placed an unprecedented level of pressure on already fragile pension systems in many developed economies (Watkins-Mathys 2012; OECD 2013). In the context of a rapidly ageing workforce, impending skills shortages, a tightening labour market, upwards shifts in the minimum age at which individuals become eligible for pensions and the gradual degradation of both private and public pension schemes and in an effort to avert the impeding “pensions crisis”, governments have adopted strategies such as encouraging delayed retirement (Orenstein 2011; Watkins-Mathys 2012). For instance, in the United Kingdom, the Default Retirement Age (DRA) was fully abolished in 2011 (Flynn et al. 2014), while the Japanese government has raised the mandatory retirement age twice since the 1990s (Wood, Robertson and Wintersgill 2010). Such developments have in turn brought about considerable debate in academic and policy circles on ways to prolong the working life of productive older workers (Taylor et al. 2012; Baruch, Sayce and Gregoriou 2014).


Business Owner Small Business Owner Tightening Labour Market Older Worker Public Pension Scheme 
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© Natalie Sappleton and Fernando Lourenço 2015

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  • Natalie Sappleton
  • Fernando Lourenço

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