Prerequisites and driving forces behind an extended working life among older workers

Pia Hovbrandt, Carita Håkansson, Maria Albin, Gunilla Carlsson, Kerstin Nilsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Reforms are changing pension systems in many European countries, in order to both restrict early retirement and force people to extend their working life. From occupational therapy and occupational science perspectives, studies focusing on aspects of working life that motivate the older worker is urgent. Aim: The aim was to describe incentives behind an extended working life among people over age 65. Method: Focus group methodology was used, with participants ages 66–71, from varying work fields: construction and technical companies and the municipal elderly care sector. Findings: Work was considered important and valuable to the degree of how challenging work was, the possibilities for inclusion in a team of colleagues and the chances for better personal finances. Amongst all, the participants expressed a feeling of a strengthened identity by being challenged and having the opportunity to manage working tasks. Conclusion: The finding showed the actual reasons behind an extended working life among older workers. However, a risk of rising social inequity may appear with increased working life if older people are forced to extend their working life due to a difficult financial situation as a pensioner. A variety of retirement options and initiatives in order to support older workers are justified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-183
Number of pages13
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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