Older employees say they could work to older ages

10/05/2012 15:00

Dutch employees aged 55 to 64 years say they could continue their present work to an age of 64.7 years on average. This is one and a half years older than the current average age of retirement. There are differences between occupations in the age to which workers expect to be able to work. The differences are related to the physical and mental demands of the work. These are just some of the results from the Netherlands Working Conditions Survey 2011 which was conducted at the end of last year by TNO and Statistics Netherlands.

As a result of population ageing, pressure on government funds and the expected shortage of labour in the future, workersin the Netherlands will be expected to continue to work to older ages. Between 2006 and 2011 the average age of retirement rose from 61 to just over 63 years (source: Statistics Netherlands, StatLine). At the end of 2011, TNO and Statistics Netherlands asked nearly 23 thousand employees to what age they thought they would be able - in physical and mental terms - to continue to work in their present jobs. The average age reported by all employees aged 55 to 64 years was 64.7 years.

Occupation groups

The age to which older employees expect to be able to continue their present work varies from 63.8 to 66.0 years, depending on their occupation. People working in management, and specialist areas think they can continue longest, workers in health care, trade, manufacturing and agricultural occupations say they would retire at younger ages. However, the age to which they think they will be able to continue to work is still nearly one year higher than the actual retirement age of employees.

The differences in the ages to which workers expect to be able to continue to work are largely related to differences in working conditions. The greater the physical demands, the younger the age to which an employee expects to continue to work. This is especially the case for workers in trade, manufacturing and agricultural occupations. Mental demands also correlate with the age to which employees expect they can continue to work: employees who are in a position to regulate their own work generally say they can carry on to older ages than workers with less autonomy.