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Options for Extending Work Life


Author: Moon, M., Hushbeck, J.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1989


An exploration of the positive & negative incentives to prolonging Americans' worklife. Positive incentives include recent policy changes-eg, the 1983 Social Security amendments, elimination of mandatory retirement, & pension reform to allow pension accruals beyond normal retirement age; pension portabiliby; stricter enforcement of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; government programs offering training, job referral, or other worker support services to older workers displaced from career jobs; & acceleration of the planned increase in the delayed retirement credit for Social Security benefits begun after age 65. Negative incentives include: reducing the Social Security benefits available at age 62, or increasing the Medicare eligibility age, which would apply pressure on older workers to remain at work. However, for those who are involuntarily retired, such restrictions could impose serious hardships. It is concluded that positive incentives are likely to raise government spending in the short run, during a time of fiscal austerity in the U.S., although they may be cost-effective in the long run. Negative incentives, while imposing little immediate budgetary cost, would violate individual choice, place a burden on individuals least able to bear it, & create adverse incentives & equity problems. Retirement policy for an aging population needs to be based on the long view, not on short-term considerations of government deficits.

Further Details

Pages: 27-30
Volume: 13
Issue: 2
Accession Number: 23.5.03
Keywords: North America, older, policy compliance
Reads: 227