Later Life Work Index (LLWI)

Within our aging societies later life work is on the rise in most developed countries and organizational practices are important for its successful implementation. The European Commission projects a 30% increase among European employees aged 55 to 64 between 2015 and 2030. The increase in mainly driven by the demographic change, but also by increase labor market participation rates of older employees - heavily increasing also for workers in retirement age already. This effect is further accelerated by increasing standard retirement ages in many European countries. In parallel, skilled labor force shortages affect key industries today already, challenging organizations in terms of recruitment, succession planning and knowledge retention. Moreover, later life work has been found to support mental health on the individual level, as well as releaves social systems on the societal level. It is hence in the interest of both, industry and society to retain job performancemotivation and job-related health of older employees.

Organizational HR and management practices have been shown to positively affect successful employment of older employees in many domains. While much research has been carried out on the individual antecedents and preferences for older employees and post-retirement work in recent years, it is not yet understood, how successful employment of older employees can be enabled from an organizational perspective. Research has revealed many individual levers, as e.g. an organizational culture and leadership style supporting older employees, flexible working times, medical offers or targeted knowledge transfer for older employees. But organizations still lack profound tools to assess their readiness and capabilities to leverage older employees’ potential. It is not yet investigated and understood, which organizational practices drive older employees’ performance, health and motivation most? And how and why do employers differ regarding their practices and attitudes towards older employees?


Wöhrmann, Deller und Pundt (2018) hence propose the Later Life Work Index (LLWI) to systematically describe and compare organizational practices for successful later life work. The index aims to serve as a free tool for self-assessment within organizations and benchmarking among peers on industry and regional level.

The dimensions and indicators of the index have been developed based on a qualitative study in Germany and (initial name: Silver Work Index) and revised in collaboration with the Age Smart Employer Award by the Columbia University in New York City (Inter-coder reliability). The index' dimensions can be obtained from the following figure:

For a detailed definition of the dimensions and indicators please click:

Definitions of dimensions