Strand: The later stages of the life course
The Third Age is an eventful period in the life course where older adults experience transitions in several life domains such as work and family. NIDI research on this life stage focuses on the causes and consequences of the transition from work to retirement. Set against the backdrop of an ageing population and workforce and taking policies to raise the labour force participation of the elderly into account, individual retirement planning is an important issue in the Netherlands, also in view of increasing individual responsibility of workers for their retirement planning and savings. NIDI research explicitly pays attention to the social context of the labour market behaviour of older adults.
To study work-retirement decisions in a changing social context and the way labour organisations manage increasing diversity and flexibility, a large-scale Retirement Survey was carried out in 2001-2003 among 3000 older workers (and their partners) as well as their supervisors. This project also fuelled the development of the current Process of Retirement project where a second round of data collection among the same organisations took place in 2006. These unique multi-actor panel data are used to study retirement as a process and not as a single one-time event.
Retirement issues are also studied in an international comparative perspective. In ASPA, a study funded under the 7th Framework Programme of the EU, NIDI coordinates a large-scale comparative survey among employers in eight European countries to study the behaviour of employers regarding an ageing labour force. In the project 'Social Security in 2025', funded by Stichting GAK, an international perspective is used is to examine to what extent and in which ways the labour force participation of women and older adults in the Netherlands can be stimulated. Several policy-oriented studies are also carried out (e.g. with financial support from the ministry of Social Affairs and Employment), linking insights from ongoing research projects with public policy and organisational issues.