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Later retirement could increase OECD GDP by $2 trillion

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Staff Writer | June 20, 2017
Later retirement
Doing business   The potential long-term GDP boost

OECD countries could add around $2 trillion to their total gross domestic product (GDP) in the long run if the employment rate for workers aged over 55 was equal to best-performing EU country Sweden, according to PwC economists.

The PwC Golden Age Index is a weighted average of indicators – including employment, earnings and training – that reflect the labour market impact of workers aged over 55 in 34 OECD countries.

The potential long-term GDP boost varies significantly across countries, from around 1% in Korea and 2% in Japan to around 16% in Greece.

Other countries lagging behind in the index could also experience large gains, such as Belgium (13%) and Slovenia (12%). Given its size, the U.S. has the largest potential absolute gain of around $0.5 trillion (around 3% of GDP).

The Nordic countries once again perform strongly on the index, with Iceland topping the list and Sweden in fourth and Norway in sixth place.

Denmark (13th) and Finland (14th) don’t perform quite as well as their peers, but still make it into the top half of the OECD rankings.

Israel has climbed one place to third since last year, Korea and Japan have each climbed two places to seventh and eighth respectively, Australia are up four places to 12th, and Germany up two places to 15th.

The PwC report focuses in some detail on the trends in the UK, which also offers some lessons for other countries.

While good progress has been made over time in the UK in the employment rate of older people, much remains to be done - with a potential £80bn boost to UK GDP if it can match the Swedish performance.


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