European countries have experienced an outstanding increase in life expectancy during the last decades; however, this desirable and laudable societal achievement has challenged pension systems financial sustainability. National governments have almost unanimously responded to this demographic change by limiting access to retirement, mainly increasing statutory pension age. This article explores possible unintended effects of work life extension in the context of ageing population and provides some policy considerations. In particular, the authors focus on the following issues: work ability at older age, the potential negative health consequences of prolonging exposure to occupational hazards, welfare program substitution, shortage of informal caring, and, finally, the inequity innate in pension systems which disregard differences in life expectancy between socio economic groups.
Keywords: Ageing, retirement, health, work