With retirement work hasn’t just ended for Jim.
Photo by J.Pompe & Q. Nguyen

More pensioners work in the EU


Eurofound states that the rates among workers aged 65 to 74 years increased by 15% in the EU27 in the past five years. Jim (68), an English freelance consultant in the packaging technology industry shares his nomadic lifestyle after he retired from Unilever, a British–Dutch company specializing in fast-moving consumer goods.


By Jennifer Pompe & Quynh Nguyen       

With retirement work hasn’t just ended for Jim. Photo by J.Pompe & Q. Nguyen

According to Eurofound there are two types of working pensioners. The first type seeks employment to contribute to society, to be in contact with others, and to keep active. The second type needs to work extra because their income after retirement is just too low.

Eurofound was set up by the EU in 1975 to contribute to the planning and design of better living and working conditions in Europe.

Jim belongs to the first group. After he retired from Unilever, he decided to consult other companies in that field and keeps on travelling because of that. His main residence is now in England but ever since he was born he was on the move.


‘My parents flew around the world and I did the same with my children’

Born in Egypt and having lived in several different places, amongst them Singapore, Hong Kong, New York City, San Francisco, and more, made him a real ‘gipsy’ as he likes to refer to himself.

The research result of 2011 by Eurofound shows that most people in this age group are pensioners that are willing to work for less money than in their previous employments. Improved health among pensioners has contributed to the growth of this working group.

In some member states it is much more common for pensioners to work than in others. In Portugal, Romania, the UK and Cyprus, employment rates among pensioners are particularly high. Belgium, Slovakia and France, in contrast, have very few pensioners who work.


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