Against a background of ageing populations and expected labour shortages, an important social policy objective in many industrialized societies today is to increase labour force participation among older people, partly by decreasing the prevalence of early exit from work and also by postponing the age of retirement. The means of reaching this goal have hither to mainly concerned supply-side measures, and many countries are today reforming social security programmes in order to turn away from ‘wasteful externalisation practices’ of age management that have sparked the trend towards early exit (Reday-Mulvey, 2006). The most obvious examples of this are the introduction of public policy reforms aiming to strengthen financial and work incentives in public old age pension programmes, abandoning mandatory pension ages, closing down special early retirement programmes and restricting access to early exit pathways such as disability benefits.
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