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Towards a Two-speed Finland? Longer Working Life, Retirement Pathways and Inequality

Tampere University
Area of focusHealth, Society

Prolonging work careers and treating the elderly worker as a resource are ideals often voiced in political rhetoric. Paradoxically, however, age-based inequality, and ageism in the workplace means that elderly workers are, simultaneously, moved into early retirement or made redundant as part of cooperation negotiations. One of the central questions tackled in this project concerns the diversity and inequality of the ageing population and well as the relationship between social class and ageing. Are we facing the risk that a new class of poor pensioners, partly irrespective of their educational background, is forming in Finland? The term Two-speed refers to this process of growing differentiation and inequality among ageing workers as well as to the difference in the length of working lives of white and blue-collar workers. The project consists of both longitudinal qualitative interview and survey data. In all 40 persons more than 50 years of age and laid-off from the postal services were interviewed several times during three years. In all 1400 employed persons above 50 years of age answered to a questionnaire in 2016 (n=2096, response rate 48) and 2018 (n=1466, response rate 76).



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