Three areas where adjustments can be made: working longer, working in a more flexible way, immigration
According to Miksa, an expert in demography, the countries affected have three options for reducing the effects of the aging process on income: "People could keep working for longer, or we could manage to increase their productivity. Japan, for example, has managed to do this already by making increased use of robots. Thirdly, incentives could be offered to encourage particular groups of people to take up work again, or work longer hours, such as women, senior citizens, and immigrants. We could introduce a flexible retirement age, instead of doggedly adhering to a fixed one."
International Pensions, among others, calculated what the effect on the economy would be if, by 2030, the same proportion of women were in work as men. According to their findings, the working population would grow by two million people by 2022. This could decrease a loss of wealth caused by demographic changes. Gross domestic product per capita would continue to drop on a long-term scale, but this would not start happening until 2024. This figure could start to tumble as soon as next year if more women do not take up gainful employment.
Society needs to have a rethink
Miksa thinks that it is important for societies to rethink their approach: "We have laid a strong foundation upon which we can prepare the labor market, social security systems and educational institutions for a rapidly aging population. But we're not making the best possible use of them. In addition, many companies still focus almost exclusively on young, highly qualified individuals. To date, career profiles including systematic further development for people aged 50+ only exist in areas where there is already a lack of up-and-coming young talent."
And time is running out. Even in Germany today, there is one person aged over 65 for every three people of working age. By 2035, there will be fewer than two people in employment providing for one pensioner. Other countries are faced with similar problems. In the US, the number of people in work is dropping particularly rapidly at the moment because the baby boomer generation of the 50s is coming up to retirement ( Baby, it’s Over: The Last Boomer Turns 50
The International Monetary Fund is also concerned about the economic consequences of aging. In its "World Economic Outlook", the IMF warns that growth in developed nations could drop between 2015 and 2020 from 2.25 percent to 1.6 percent, as a result of demographic changes.