Economists on the Left Discover … Well … Economics

April 27, 2011
96 Views

Basically, it’s a mess,” says [Steven A.] Sass of the world of retirement today. He says employers liked mandatory retirement because it allowed for an orderly and predictable departure from the payroll. But that certainty is gone at a time that, more than ever, older workers need to find new jobs. In the 1980s, Sass says, about 75 percent of 50-year old workers would be at the same company 10 years later. Today, only half of 60 year-olds are working at the same place that employed them at age 50.

Basically, it’s a mess,” says [Steven A.] Sass of the world of retirement today. He says employers liked mandatory retirement because it allowed for an orderly and predictable departure from the payroll. But that certainty is gone at a time that, more than ever, older workers need to find new jobs. In the 1980s, Sass says, about 75 percent of 50-year old workers would be at the same company 10 years later. Today, only half of 60 year-olds are working at the same place that employed them at age 50. In Working Longer, he and [Alicia] Munnell float what he calls the “somewhat scandalous” suggestion that the prohibition on mandatory retirement be repealed—allowing companies to impose it, he suggests, at the “politically feasible” age of 70. “Unless employers have an assurance they have a way to get rid of older employees, they won’t hire older workers,” he says.

This is from Yglesias.