Global Action on Aging
issues regular Newsletters
on Pensions, Health, Elder
Rights, Rural Aging, etc.


Welcome to the Silver Workers Institute

The aim of the Silver Workers Institute (SWI) is to study the work environment of seniors (with a view to identifying problem areas which hamper full utilisation of this workforce) and to propose policy action – for companies and governments – in response to demographic change and to the challenge of expanding the productive capacity of our modern economies.

Based on the extensive work of the Life and Pensions programme, formerly known as the “Four Pillars” (Ageing, Pensions and Employment) and launched in 1987 by the Geneva Association, the SWI's crucial mission is to raise awareness of how the active ageing of seniors can be positive for our firms and communities not only economically but also socially. In a changing demographic context Active Ageing and Silver Work constitute key solutions to improved social cohesion and economic growth in future decades.

After two decades of early retirement, demographic prospects and budgetary constraints have forced OECD states to rethink their welfare systems and more particulary their pension arrangements. New major employment trends also encourage workers to remain later at work, and companies are progressively adapting working conditions to an older workforce and know that they will need to retain qualified Silver Workers later than today to meet future labour shortages.

Silver Workers will be in great demand not only up to raised pension ages, but in particular in services after any reference age. The reduction of work-time is one of the key measures to allow Silver Workers above 60 to contribute to the economic and social performance of our modern service economy. But the concept of Silver Work also applies to non-renumerated activities whether in voluntary tasks or in the family and social spheres.

Silver Workers are experienced workers continuing employment or work beyond 60 and without an age limit, such as pension age. They often work on a part-time basis, both in paid or unpaid employment.

Silver Work embraces all kinds of economic activities. But the concept of Silver Work also applies to non-remunerated activities whether in voluntary tasks or in the family and social spheres.  


Better integration of Silver Workers in working life is much more than a question of old-age provision. It involves substantial issues concerning companies’ competitiveness, stability of national budgets and societal exposure to a dramatically changing age structure of the population. Ultimately, our research addresses the long-term basics of growth and welfare in the future world economy.”
Patrick M. Liedtke, former Secretary General of The Geneva Association.



© 2015 Silver Workers Institute