Helping the poorest help themselves? Encouraging employment past 65 in England and the USA

Lain, David (2011) Helping the poorest help themselves? Encouraging employment past 65 in England and the USA Journal of Social Policy, 40 (3). pp. 493-512. ISSN 1469-7823

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In the context of population ageing and low retirement incomes, the UK government is encouraging delayed retirement.However, theOECD has argued thatUKmeans-tested benefits disincentivise employment for the poorest, and Vickerstaff (2006b) has suggested managers have typically controlled opportunities to work beyond 65. In the US, contrastingly, benefits are meagre and difficult to access, and age discrimination legislation protects individuals from forced retirement. Would a US ‘self-reliance’ policy approach increase employment amongst the poorest over 65s in the UK and enhance or diminish their financial position? The evidence suggests that extendingUKage discrimination legislation and restricting benefitswould increase overall employment past 65, although not necessarily to US levels. Analysis of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing and the US Health and Retirement Study finds the poorest over 65s were more likely to work in the USA than in England in 2002. However, within the USA, employment amongst the poorest was still low, especially compared with wealthier groups; logistic regression analysis primarily attributes this to lower levels of health and education. A US policy approach would therefore most likely damage the financial position of the poorest in the UK, as increased employment would not sufficiently compensate for lost benefits.

Item Type: Journal article
Additional Information: © 2011 Cambridge University Press
Subjects: N000 Business and Management > N600 Human Resource Management
DOI (a stable link to the resource): 10.1017/S0047279410000942
Faculties: Brighton Business School > Centre for Research on Management and Employment
Depositing User: business editor
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2011 08:16
Last Modified: 21 May 2014 11:02

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