Population aging is an issue for both developed and developing nations of the world. Developing nations are often experiencing fundamental changes in industrial structure, while at the same time trying to develop mechanisms to support elders in poverty, whereas developed countries are facing problems ranging from severe strain on national pension systems to labor shortages. The high rates of labor-force participation (LFP) in developed countries are due to an increase in employment among older women at the same time that the participation of older men has declined. The countries with the highest LFP rates among older workers-Japan, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States-have been modifying policies in an attempt to encourage employment of older workers and reduce pension costs. Modifying the structure of pension plans is likely to make early retirement more difficult to afford, whereas making retirement less attractive can only increase the need or the desire of older workers to remain active in the labor force.
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