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120531 Global AgeWatch Policy Brief 2 Ageing implication for Growth post 2015


120531 Global AgeWatch Policy Brief 2
Global ageing – its implications for growth, decent work and social protection beyond 2015

Older people account for an increasing proportion of the world’s population today, and this number continues to grow as a result of increasing life expectancy and declining birth rates. By 2020, older people (aged 65 and over) will account for nearly 10 per cent of theorld’s population and will outnumber children under five. This trend is expected to accelerate in future years: by 2040 there will be 1.3 billion older people in the world – accounting for 14 per cent of the total.

Key messages
• Decent work as defined by the ILO is essential both to achieving the MDGs and in developing the post-2015 sustainable development framework. As one of the four pillars of the Decent Work Agenda, it is critical that social protection is at the core of the future framework to ensure that all people can participate in and benefit from growth.
• Decent work and social protection must be viewed in the context of demographic change. Life-course and intergenerational policy-making and programming are required to enable older people to work their way out of poverty. Otherwise, older men and women will face old age characterised by vulnerability that will be passed on to younger generations.
• Pensions are critical to enhance older people’s livelihood strategies. They represent a regular income that is vital in contributing to daily living needs and to support the whole household.
• An acknowledgement of the reality of work in old age and its increasingly informal nature, particularly in developing countries, is crucial to ensure that the design of a post-2015 framework does not marginalise certain groups.
• Income brought in by older people is invested in households and shared between family members. Assumptions that older people cannot or are not working must be challenged and their contributions through work and income are recognised and supported.