COUNTRY REPORT: Switzerland

Authors: Nicky Le Feuvre,
Series: Issue: 03 2019
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Abstract

The DAISIE project explores the gendered impacts of policies and practices aimed at extending working life (EWL) in five contrasting national settings (the Czech Republic, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK), using a mixed methods research design inspired by insights from life-course and gender studies. The project addresses two significant and timely issues: labour market participation in later life and the influence of labour market and family trajectories on the experiences of older workers in different national and occupational contexts.

This report explores the issue of extending working life in the Swiss context. It begins by mapping the employment patterns of older workers (50+), insisting on the differences in employment histories, working conditions and the transition to retirement that are associated with the normative expectations of the dominant “modified male breadwinner” Swiss gender model. The report then goes on to present the three-tier Swiss pension regime and to analyse the consequences of recent – or proposed – policy reforms to this system. It insists on the huge gender pension gap in the Swiss context and analyses the consequences of this for older workers from different social backgrounds. The report concludes by summing up the important features of the EWL debate in Switzerland from a gender perspective and identifying gaps in the current state of research on this topic.