Resistance to Flexible Retirement Age Policy and Norm Nudging: The Swedish Pensions Agency’s Positive Campaigning on Extended Work Life

Abstract

Sweden abolished its statutory fixed retirement age and shifted to a life income-based system in the 1990’s to meet the challenges to the pension system from, among other things, the increase in life expectancy. Nevertheless, a 65-year retirement norm remains. Measures adopted in support of extended work life policy, such as tax-breaks on income for those over 65 years, raising the age for the right to remain at work or introducing age in the Discrimination Act, have not been successful. In fact, the policy change has been accompanied with claims of ageism against older jobseekers and discussion of the difficulty for certain occupational groups to continue working due to work injuries or heavy work. Through the perspective of nudge theory, the study analyzed the Swedish Pensions Agency’s communication or “positive campaigning” in press releases and Facebook posts to persuade the public of the benefits of extended work life, as well as the responses in newspapers and Facebook comments. The results show that the Pensions Agency used communication or nudges of varying degree of visibility (subconscious to obvious) and of varying degree of effort of reflection (intuitive to conscious). The responses to the nudges proved to be two folded, where a majority of the articles in newspaper media were neutral or supportive to the communication and the Facebook followers overwhelmingly critical oftentimes referring to fatigue and little gain from continued work. In sum, the nudges did not seem to substantially alter the choice environment of those seemingly in most need of extended work life.



Author Information
Lisbeth Segerlund, School of Global Studies, Gothenburg University, Sweden

Paper Information
Conference: AGen2024
Stream: Public Policy

This paper is part of the AGen2024 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Segerlund L. (2024) Resistance to Flexible Retirement Age Policy and Norm Nudging: The Swedish Pensions Agency’s Positive Campaigning on Extended Work Life ISSN: 2432-4183 The Asian Conference on Aging & Gerontology 2024: Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2432-4183.2024.7
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2432-4183.2024.7


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Posted by James Alexander Gordon