FACTAGE aimed to generate and disseminate findings in response to the following questions:
- How do levels in (healthy) life expectancy differ across socio-economic groups in EU countries?
- How do the pension and labour market policy measures designed to expand working lives (current and future) interact with these trends in mortality and healthy life expectancy?
- What role is played in that process by the different institutional arrangements within EU member states?
- How do differential longevity gains and longer working careers affect (in)equality in the experience of ageing and wellbeing among older people?
- Which policies and institutional settings can best promote fairness within and between generations? And, at the same time further expand working lives?
FACTAGE started from the premise that there is substantial scope for increasing the length of average working lives and active ageing in its many facets, but realising this potential requires paying careful attention to questions of equality concerning the elderly, not least prospectively. Furthermore, there is the fundamental issue of how to adapt the requirement to work longer with intergenerational distribution concerns. One core aim was to devise the necessary tools and then to carry out a comparative assessment of differential mortality risks, health and labour market inequalities. The project recommended evidence-based policy scenarios for an equitable allocation of labour and retirement across populations and generations.
Given the projectʼs emphasis on inequality, FACTAGE focused in particular on impacts on people with lower educational attainment, health limitations and disrupted work histories. The central concept guiding FACTAGE, namely well-being in later life, will reflect multiple dimensions, especially pension income, employment, health, work-life balance and subjective well-being.
FACTAGE compared the employment and retirement options of older people with (healthy) life expectancy for socioeconomic subgroups to ascertain how institutional design and reforms affect equity across generations. We further drew a distinction between policies suitable for the current generation of older people, and prospective policy scenarios. Based on multidisciplinary research, FACTAGE provided evidence on policy approaches across EU countries that are favourable to extending working careers and improving well-being in later life, whilst also generating wider societal, micro-and macroeconomic benefits.