The impact of the working environment on work retention of older workers
National report – Norway



Tove Midtsundstad, Ingrid Sivesind Mehlum and Anne Inga Hilsen

Fafo-paper 2017:09
ISSN 0804-5135


(pdf 1459 kB)

There has been an extensive research on ageing and retirement in Norway over the last 20 to 25 years, with some studies focusing on single aspects and others on a range of factors that can potentially predict early retirement and/or extended work careers. These studies are based on large-scale datasets from surveys (both cross-sectional and retrospective cohort studies), register data, longitudinal studies and qualitative studies.

The current Norwegian research literature shows that Norwegian labour market participation and retirement behaviour among older workers are affected by a multitude of factors at the macro, meso and micro level.

It is well documented that the labour market situation, including the business cycle, downsizing and unemployment, affects older workers labour market participation and retirement. Several studies have also documented that financial incentives and other features of the pension system and social insurance system influence how and when older workers retire, and whether they choose to work or not after drawing a pension. Furthermore, social position (sex, educational level and occupational position) influence the retirement pattern: blue collar workers retire earlier than white-collar workers. Demographic factors also affect retirement decisions. Older Norwegian workers’ retire-ment behaviour are affected by gender, civic status, spouse’s labour market situation and retirement, but to a lesser degree by caring responsibilities.

However, health, work ability and work environment seem to be among the most important factors. Table 4 summarises the main conclusions regarding the effect of different work environment factors on labour market participation and early retirement among older workers (50+).