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date: 25 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Retirement in its contemporary sense – permanent withdrawal from employment prior to physiological decline – was, until recently, the privilege of the few. True, in the past, rank-and-file elderly workers were also often ‘retired’, not because they no longer needed work incomes but rather due to disabilities or to lay-offs. Even as late as the 1960s, ‘old age’ was practically synonymous with poverty in many industrial democracies. All this has changed in the past quarter century. Old-age incomes have been rising, retirement ages have been falling, and the elimination of old-age poverty is a very realistic prospect for most developed nations. The coupling of ageing with retirement provokes, as with most new things, uncertainty.

Keywords: sustainable retirement, equitable retirement, elderly workers, lay-offs, industrial democracies, developed nations

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