Intergenerational Conflict in Japan: The Duality of the Labour Market

ILC-UK at the Japan Foundation

Recently, ILC-UK attended a seminar at the Japan Foundation entitled, ‘Challenges of an Ageing Society.’ The Foundation invited speakers from Kobe University to discuss the economic impacts of ageing and the ways in which Japan is tackling these challenges.

Japan was labelled a ‘Star of Ageing’ by the chair, Dr. George Leeson from the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing. The country has had to adjust to a rapidly ageing population in a fraction of the time in which Europe experienced its demographic transition. Continue reading

2011 Census Release: How are we Ageing?

Results from the 2011 census, released by the ONS this week[1], reveal that the population of England and Wales has now reached 56.1 million. This is an increase of over 7 per cent on 2001 figures and marks the largest growth between any two censuses since the first in 1801.

Not only are we growing in size, we are also getting older. In 1911, 30.6 per cent of the population were aged 14 or under, in 2011 this percentage fell to under 18 per cent. Over the same period the percentage share of the 65-89 age group rose from 5.2 to 15.7 per cent. Continue reading

Measuring National Well-being: Life in the UK 2012

In 2010 David Cameron announced plans for a new national survey, intended to provide an alternative measure of national happiness. At conception it was envisaged that the survey would complement more traditional, economic measures of national progress, through the measurement of subjective indicators such as quality of life, with a view to potentially incorporating findings into policy-making [1].

On November 20th the first results of the National Well-being project were published. Following extensive public consultation, well-being was approached through the themes of economy, people and the environment. Continue reading

Sense over sensation: a bigger picture of migration and old-age dependency

Increases in the migrant population spell good news for the UK’s dependency ratio, by increasing the number of people working and contributing to society to balance out the need to support the rising numbers of older people.

The 2011 census results launched today reveal over half (55%) of the 3.7 million population increase captured in the census was due to migration. This represents seven per cent of the increase in resident population since 2001. Continue reading

‘Romance and adventure need not be the preserve purely of the wrinkle-free’

The portrayal of older people in the media is frequently limited to marginal roles and stereotypical depictions of vulnerability and dependence which neglect the huge diversity of experience of the ‘older’ demographic. The BBC offers a breath of fresh air in its latest romcom production, ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ which is unusual in its focus on the relationship of two older people and their experience of love and lust following an encounter on Facebook. Continue reading

Can we “nudge” older people online? Or might we need to compel?

Seven and a half million people in the UK, the majority being older or disabled, have never been online. Yet despite the common perception that this is an issue that will go away, progress on getting older people online is slow. The latest Office of National Statistics report on internet use highlighted that progress in getting the over 65s online is much slower than for under 65s.

We know a lot about why individuals don’t go online. The barriers can be categorised within three groups: access issues, skills issues and behavioural choice. Yet whilst significant work has been undertaken to understand access and skills issues, there has been little focus on tackling the behavioural barriers to getting individuals online. Continue reading

Plans for flexible working to encourage workforce participation in later life

ILC-UK welcomes Nick Clegg’s plans, set out this week, to extend the right to flexible working to all employees. The new package of employment rights due to come into force in 2014 aims to boost the participation of women and older people in the labour market. It will give all employees the right to request reduced or part time hours and working from home arrangements. Continue reading

What should older people contribute in retirement?

Last week, a session of the House of Lords Select Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change [1] hit the headlines, as Lord Bichard called for people receiving their pension to continue to contribute through some form of service to the state.

In his evidence, Lord Bichard suggested the possibility of policies which attached some form of penalty on older people not contributing to society, along the same lines as removing benefits from people who are not looking for work. Continue reading

Some good news on pensions?

Current retirees are living on, on average, 72% of pre-retirement family income, according to wave five of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) launched last week. The study highlights how the poorest income quartile saw a 105% replacement rate post retirement. Those in the highest income quartile saw a 61% rate.

ELSA also provides us with some evidence that gradual retirement, something ILC-UK has been supporting for many years, may be becoming a reality. Continue reading