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[FYI] AGE Press Release 26/03/2009: AGE President encourages European business leaders to lift mandatory retirement ages and implement measures to help older workers remain in employment

From: Andrew Arch <andrew@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 27 Mar 2009 11:33:29 +0000
Message-ID: <49CCB989.8010405@w3.org>
To: public-wai-age@w3.org
I'm forwarding this as it is relevant for some of our WAI-AGE 
considerations.

Andrew
-- 
Andrew Arch
Web Accessibility and Ageing Specialist
www.w3.org/WAI/WAI-AGE/

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	AGE Press Release 26/03/2009: AGE President encourages
European business leaders to lift mandatory retirement ages and
implement measures to help older workers remain in employment
Date: 	Thu, 26 Mar 2009 15:37:34 +0100
From: 	Karen Vandeweghe <karen.vandeweghe@age-platform.org>

Brussels, 26 March 2009

European Business Summit, 26-27 March 2009:
*AGE President encourages European business leaders to lift company
mandatory retirement ages and to implement measures to help older
workers remain in employment*

On the occasion of the European Business Summit on 26 March 2009, Dr
Elizabeth Mestheneos, AGE President, declared that older workers must
be enabled to work for longer if the EU is to meet the costs of its
ageing populations and she stressed the key role that European business
has to play in facilitating this.

“The answer to the demographic challenge will need to come partly from
the grey themselves and older workers should be enabled and encouraged
to work for longer. Employers must therefore do their utmost to keep
them in employment and provide flexible working arrangements to enable
them to continue to work” observed Dr Mestheneos, adding that “mandatory
retirement ages must be lifted to enable those who wish or need to work
to continue in paid employment”. She stressed that adequate 1st pillar
(state) pensions providing adequate income for all must be guaranteed to
avoid poverty which is linked directly to ill health and contributes to
rising health care costs. The gender dimension in the trend to move
toward 2^nd and 3^rd pillar pensions must be addressed as those workers
  - largely women - who take career breaks or who work part-time to care
for dependent relatives remain at a significant disadvantage. She added
that the current financial crisis provides clear evidence that
supplementary pensions (2^nd and 3^rd pillars) cannot substitute for the
responsibility of the state in ensuring sufficient pension provision for
all and avoid gender gaps in pension provision.

Older workers have a valuable contribution to make today’s workforces
and in our current economic context, their greater engagement presents
an opportunity for a win-win situation for businesses and older workers
alike.  According to AGE, European companies and SMEs can help in many
ways by:

# Promoting the adoption of proactive life course age management
methods in the workplace;

# Allowing workers the flexiblity to combine part-time employment
with volunteering, community involvement, lifelong learning and caring
responsibilities;

# Implementing phased retirement to enable workers to make a
gradual shift from full-time paid employment to an active period of
retirement;

# Effecting a change in business culture that views older workers
as active and valued members of companies;

# Strengthening efforts to make more and better jobs available to
older workers and carry out research on the changes needed to encourage
all older workers (including women) to work for longer;

# Investing in workers of all ages and taking an age neutral
approach to (re-)training and skills upgrading;

# Supporting healthy ageing in the workplace, avoiding mental
health problems caused by a devaluing of older workers, and making
rational use of resources i.e. use ICT to help older workers remain
healthier and fitter for longer.

For more details on how Europe can manage its ageing working
populations, AGE’s position paper on how the EU can lessen the impact of
the financial crisis on older workers is available here:
http://www.age-platform.org/EN/spip.php?article743. For more details,
please contact the AGE Secretariat at: info@age-platform.org
<mailto:info@age-platform.org>.

  ENDS

*About AGE*
AGE - the European Older People's Platform is a European network of
organisations of people aged 50+ and represents over 22 million older
people in Europe. AGE aims to voice and promote the interests of the 150
million inhabitants aged 50+ in the European Union and to raise
awareness of the issues that concern them most. Website:
www.age-platform.org <http://www.age-platform.org/>.

*For more information, please contact:*
AGE Secretariat
Rue Froissart 111
1040 Brussels
Tel: +32.2.280.14.70
Fax: +32.2.280.15.22
E-mail: info@age-platform.org <mailto:info@age-platform.org>
www.age-platform.org <http://www.age-platform.org>
Received on Friday, 27 March 2009 11:34:07 UTC

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