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Policy Options to Facilitate Work at Older Ages

Working longer benefits older adults, government, and the overall economy. The older workforce has surged in recent decades as the population aged and people increasingly worked past traditional retirement ages. Despite this growth, however, older workers continue to face obstacles. Many employers appear reluctant to hire older workers, tax and benefit policies can reduce the gains from working at older ages, and health problems and caregiving demands often make employment difficult for older people. Complicating matters, the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred hundreds of thousands of workers to retire earlier than they expected.

To deepen understanding of the labor market activities of older people, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation launched the Working Longer program in 2010. Since its inception, the program has made more than 150 grants focused on the availability of older workers, employer demand for their services, and their role in the US labor force.

To mark the end of the Working Longer program, which made its final grants in 2020, the Urban Institute invites you to a panel discussion about policy options to facilitate work at older ages, drawing on lessons learned from program-funded research. Panelists will explore the role of federal and state policy in helping older adults overcome workplace challenges after the pandemic, incentivizing work at older ages, and promoting an equitable and inclusive labor market for workers of all ages.



  • Andrew G. Biggs, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
  • Courtney C. Coile, Professor of Economics, Wellesley College
  • Teresa Ghilarducci, Irene and Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of Economics and Policy Analysis, New School for Social Research
  • Richard W. Johnson, Director, Program on Retirement Policy, Urban Institute
  • Melissa M. Favreault, Senior Fellow, Urban Institute (moderator)


Support for this event is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. For more information on the Urban Institute’s funding principles, go to

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. Please email [email protected] if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.


Date & Time Monday, December 13, 2021

  • Senior Fellow
    Director, Program on Retirement Policy
  • Senior Fellow