Extending working lives of an ageing workforce (Germany, Denmark, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Finland)

Summary and overall aim

EXTEND is an interdisciplinary organised research project, based on literature review and empirical research (among others, secondary analyses of macro data sets, case studies, expert interviews, focus groups, economic simulations). It is focusing on looking in social inequalities in chances and constraints to extend working life. Its prime socio-political rationale can be viewed in the current retirement and pension policies in most EU-member states which have a strong focus on raising retirement ages and financially incentivising longer working life. EXTEND is reacting to growing social inequalities which benefit those most able to work longer and disadvantage those unable to work longer. Thus EXTEND takes up a research perspective which so far in retirement research has been underdeveloped. EXTEND focuses not only on the societal macro level but explicitly looks into a sector (the social services sector) where the goal of longer working lives is confronted with particular barriers which disproportionately affect health-and care professionals. EXTEND is ‘solution driven’; the project is looking for innovative solutions on different levels, including pension-and retirement policies, improving the employability of an ageing workforce and measures for healthy ageing in work. The most prominent objective is to reduce social inequalities in retirement structures on different levels, macro, organisational and micro. The life course perspective is an underlying rationale. EXTEND also looks at economic effects of different policy measures.

Project details

EXTEND participated in the first joint call on ‘Extended Working Life and its Interaction with Health, Wellbeing and beyond’.

Project duration and budget

Project duration: March-April 2016 – August-September 2018.
Project costs/requested funding: €1.378.862


  • Forschungsgesellschaft für Gerontologie e.V., Germany.
    Gerhard Naegele (coordinator)
  • IAT Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
    Josef Hilbert
  • Centre for Comparative Welfare Studies, Denmark.
    Per Jensen
  • University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.
    Alan Walker
  • VU University Medical CentreAmsterdam, The Netherlands.
    Dorly J.H. Deeg
  • Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland.
    Jukka Vuori