Title

Working Retirees?: Potential Occupational Implications of the Contemporary Re-Structuring of Retirement

Presenter Information

Debbie Rudman Laliberte

Start Time

7-10-2006 8:45 AM

End Time

7-10-2006 9:50 AM

Abstract

Retirement, as a social constructed phase of the life course, is being restructured in ways that impact on occupational choice, occupational identity and occupational justice. Considerable public debate, policy attention, and scholarly attention are being focused, internationally, on how retirement should be reconfigured in light of demographic, economic and political changes. Since the late 1960s, retirement, within several Western countries, has shifted away from being a defined event, particularly for men, when work ended near age 65 and a public pension began. Several factors, such as state retreat from publicly-funded pension programs, repeals of mandatory retirement legislation, and shifts in media constructions of retirement, have contributed to retirement becoming an increasingly ambiguous, diverse and individualized process, less clearly tied to age or pension eligibility. More recently, policy and media texts in several countries have emphasized ‘productive aging’, which involves continued involvement as ‘working retirees’ in the formal labour force. Increasingly, individuals can no longer take the meaning or timing of retirement for granted, but must face the question of: as a retiree what will I do and be? This paper critically reviews transformations in the structure of retirement, and raises questions regarding potential implications for the management and experience of occupation at individual and societal levels. As this re-structuring is occurring, occupational scientists have important roles to play in conducting research and advocacy work to ensure retirement is transformed in ways that support the occupational potential of aging individuals and promote occupational justice.

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Oct 7th, 8:45 AM Oct 7th, 9:50 AM

Working Retirees?: Potential Occupational Implications of the Contemporary Re-Structuring of Retirement

Retirement, as a social constructed phase of the life course, is being restructured in ways that impact on occupational choice, occupational identity and occupational justice. Considerable public debate, policy attention, and scholarly attention are being focused, internationally, on how retirement should be reconfigured in light of demographic, economic and political changes. Since the late 1960s, retirement, within several Western countries, has shifted away from being a defined event, particularly for men, when work ended near age 65 and a public pension began. Several factors, such as state retreat from publicly-funded pension programs, repeals of mandatory retirement legislation, and shifts in media constructions of retirement, have contributed to retirement becoming an increasingly ambiguous, diverse and individualized process, less clearly tied to age or pension eligibility. More recently, policy and media texts in several countries have emphasized ‘productive aging’, which involves continued involvement as ‘working retirees’ in the formal labour force. Increasingly, individuals can no longer take the meaning or timing of retirement for granted, but must face the question of: as a retiree what will I do and be? This paper critically reviews transformations in the structure of retirement, and raises questions regarding potential implications for the management and experience of occupation at individual and societal levels. As this re-structuring is occurring, occupational scientists have important roles to play in conducting research and advocacy work to ensure retirement is transformed in ways that support the occupational potential of aging individuals and promote occupational justice.