Living longer, working longer: the need for a comprehensive approach to labour market reform in response to demographic changes

Increases in life expectancy over the last decades have been among the most salient reflections of changes in the quality of life in the developed world. In Germany, in 1990, the average life expectancy for men and women was, respectively, 72 and 79, while in Italy men could expect to live 74 years and women 80. By 2012, these numbers changed by about 6 years for men and 4 years for women in Germany and by 6 and 5 years in Italy. Substantial increases in life expectancy have been recorded in all EU countries, from Portugal to Estonia and from Cyprus to Norway. This growth reflects unequivocal success of medicine and health care provision and fundamental changes in the quality of life and lifestyle, and offers new opportunities for the growing groups of older populations.