United States [chapter]

Debra Street
2020 Extended Working Life Policies  
For decades, American discourse about the future of Social Security has trumped meaningful discussion of extending working lives. Similar to patterns of public debate and policymaking elsewhere, in the US pensions and delayed retirement has received most of the policy focus with relatively little attention paid to the gendered structure of the US labour market, and the systematic disadvantages built into its retirement income regime. Nor have debates come to grips with the real likelihood as
more » ... al likelihood as opposed to imagined potential for most older Americans remain employed longer, given the mismatch between available jobs and older workers' skills, their physical capacities, and competing family care responsibilities. Complicating the US context further is the sheer complexity arising from significant regional differences in employment prospects, interactions between federal and state policies that shape employment and retirement outcomes, and the very exceptional character of US health insurance arrangements to contend with, all within an ageist and age-denying culture. This chapter explores why there has been little debate and no consensus in US policymaking about how to expand good employment opportunities that could help Americans to extend their working lives, but plenty about raising retirement ages and contribution levels for Social Security.
doi:10.1007/978-3-030-40985-2_39 fatcat:uvrvdpfs2fcencpmh4yl4m2x2q