“A critical review of policies targeting older workers to extend their working lives”

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Presenter:  Ilonka Guse-Brennfleck

Date: Aug 30, 2017

Time: 10:00am to 11:00am

Contact person:  LEBA Research
T: 08 8946 6156
E: lebaresearch@cdu.edu.au

Location:  Northern Institute, Yellow Building 1, Level 2, Room 48 (Savanna Room)


Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

The Productivity Commission (2013) argues that the increase in life expectancy raises the issue about optimal retirement ages, ability to provide publicly funded pensions and rules about access to superannuation savings. Like in many other OECD countries, these arguments led to an increased emphasis in Australia on implementing policies targeting older workers to extend their working lives. According to the Intergenerational Report (2015), a change to the age at which people become eligible for the Age Pension is anticipated to increase workforce participation by the 60-69 year old cohort. It is argued that extending  working life, provides opportunities to increase retirement funds and growth in GDP which in turn will allow for more comfortable lifestyle after retirement. An active ageing discourse emphasizing increased life expectancy supports the adaptation of the nominal retirement age to 67.
Over the past decades studies exploring retirement intentions identified a number of determinants that have an influence on that intention including financial wellbeing, good health, illness, age discrimination in the workplace, lack of suitable jobs etc. However, little is known about the influence diverse populations, geographies and economies may have on this decision making process.
This study aims at investigating whether this assumption is likely to be valid by surveying older workers from diverse background and different locations across Australia with different economies about their reactions to policy changes.

ILonka’s interest in the psychology of ageing led to previous research in the areas of ‘active ageing’, cognitive decline and lifelong learning. Further studies in the field of social gerontology with a focus on advocacy and Human Rights of older people extended ILonka’s awareness on global population ageing and the involvement of international organisations discussing social impacts of this ‘ageing revolution’. ILonka has now turned her focus onto pension and retirement policies to investigate the effect of these policies on the retirement intentions of older Australians.


Pascal Tremblay
Andrew Taylor
Lisa McManus