Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging

Living Edition
| Editors: Danan Gu, Matthew E. Dupre

Delaying Retirement

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_167-1



Delaying retirement refers to the process of increasing the average age of effective labor market exit, meaning that individuals in society on average remain in the labor force longer.


In an attempt to solve the high youth unemployment rates resulting from the 1970s economic crisis, many developed countries introduced early retirement schemes in order to take older individuals out of the labor market and free up jobs for younger workers (Blossfeld et al. 2011). These policies were informed by the idea that there is a fixed number of jobs available in a given economy – the “lump of labor” idea. They allowed older workers to retire well before the official retirement age with relatively small pension reductions. Increasingly, early retirement became the standard and was perceived as a “social right” so that people could spend some years resting in relatively good health after a long career...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Social and Cultural PsychologyKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Ageing and Work, Institute of GerontologyUniversity of VechtaVechtaGermany
  3. 3.Department of Sociological StudiesUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  4. 4.SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social PolicyUniversity of BremenBremenGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Li-Hsuan Huang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsNational Central UniversityChungliTaiwan