Ageing hands on keyboard. Retirement as we think of it today could soon become a thing of the past.

Historically low birth rates and increasing life expectancy mean that Europe’s working population is ageing fast. In 2012, the continent reached an inevitable demographic tipping point. The percentage of the population at working age fell for the first time in 40 years. It is now forecast to fall every year until 2060.

This inescapable trend will have profound implications for governments, citizens and companies across Europe. The fact that Europe has seen its demographic dividend expire in a time of economic frailty will only compound the challenge.

Retirement as we think of it today could soon become a thing of the past. State pension and health provision will come under intense stress. Companies will have to achieve a step change in their attitudes to older employees, and, more broadly, working practices.

 
Written by The Economist Intelligence Unit, on behalf of Towers Watson

To explore some of the issues that senior executives will have to address as they seek to adapt their organisations to this new world, The Economist Intelligence Unit, on behalf of Towers Watson, surveyed 480 senior executives at companies across Europe. Almost three quarters (71%) of them expect the number of their employees aged 60+ to increase by 2020, including 22% who expect it to increase significantly.

This report explores some of the key issues that senior executives will have to address as they seek to adapt their organisations to this new world.

Key findings include:

  • Most companies know they have to change, but not all.
  • Adapting work so it suits older workers is good for all employees.
  • Employee priorities are shifting from money to lifestyle.
  • Managing talent will be a significant driver of change in 2020.

 

Below is a summary of the key findings of the report (please click on the image to enlarge).

Ageing myths attitude change needed