Working life after job loss for the above-45-year-olds

Considerable shares of the above-45-year-olds who have been made redundant have been reemployed. Researchers from the University of Tampere and the University of Eastern Finland studied the employment trajectories of displaced 46–60-year-old workers for eight years.

The employment of the elderly is crucial in terms of extended working lives and later retirement. A study published by the Finnish Centre for Pensions reviewed the reemployment and retirement of displaced employees aged above 45 years. The study focused on plants that closed down their business or downsized by more than 30 per cent in 2005.

For the youngest workers, the 46–55-year-olds, the situation is relatively good: approximately 69 per cent were employed throughout most of the follow-up period, 13 per cent became unemployed straight away or at a later stage, and 9 per cent retired on a disability pension at some stage.

As was expected, the figures are lower for the 56­–60-year-olds: slightly less than 25 per cent were employed throughout the follow-up period. When adding those who retired on an old-age pension at a later stage (18.5%) and those who transferred to old-age retirement via part-time retirement (6.6%), the share of employed workers rises to approximately 50 per cent. Nearly one third (32%) of the people in this age group transferred to retirement via unemployment.

Poorest employment opportunities in industry

The workers’ field of business affects reemployment after job loss. Those working in industry were more prone than the others to transfer to an uncertain employment trajectory and unemployment. The workers displaced from small-sized workplaces were more frequently unemployed or exhibited insecure employment trajectories than did the others. The older employees transferred to old-age retirement via a disability or an unemployment pension.

It was more common to retire directly on an old-age pension from work or via part-time pension in the public sector. The route to retirement of displaced private-sector workers often went through unemployment, disability or an unemployment pension.

“As a whole, reemployment after job loss for the above-45-year-olds appears to be better than expected. At the same time, the study indicates that employment measures should be directed at workers who have been made redundant from industry or small workplaces,” explains Susan Kuivalainen, Head of Research at the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

Arja Jolkkonen Pertti Koistinen, Arja Kurvinen Liudmila Lipiäinen, Tapio Nummi and Pekka Virtanen: Late Career Job Loss: Employment Trajectories and Retirement of Displaced Workers Aged Above 45 Years (Summary) Finnish Centre for Pensions, Studies 02/2016

More information:

Arja Kurvinen, Senior Researcher, University of Eastern Finland, arja.kurvinen(at)uef.fi, +358 29 445 5144
Pertti Koistinen, Professor, University of Tampere, pertti.koistinen(at)uta.fi, +358 50 318 6123
Susan Kuivalainen, Head of Department, firstname.lastname@etk.fi, +358 29 411 2184