Twenty years of active ageing - does extending working lives mean the end of retirement?

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited or keynote talk at national or international conference


For the past 20 years welfare states in ageing societies have endeavoured to turn ‘passive’ retirees into active agers. Nevertheless, on a daily basis, we hear news stories about the burden that our ageing population places on all aspects of the welfare state. This burden hypothesis rests on the assumption that workers will retire at about 65, but then go on to live on pensions for a further 20-30 years. Conversely, critical social policy scholars such as John Macnicol argue that this is unlikely as neo-liberalism will precipitate the end of retirement as a social institution. In fact, to understand the pressure on pension systems, we need to take a broader perspective on ageing, work and health. In this lecture, I will use population pyramids, longitudinal research and qualitative research evidence to explore the many options available to policy-makers planning for an ageing workforce. The impact of ageism on well-being at work will also be explored.
Period14 Aug 2019
Event titleSocial Welfare Summer School
Event typeConference
LocationDublin, IrelandShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • ageing
  • retirement
  • inequality
  • gender
  • gerontology
  • ageism