Our new Golden Age Index measures how well countries are doing in harnessing the potential of their older workers. The index is a weighted average of seven indicators that reflect the labour market impact of workers aged over 55 in 34 OECD countries, including employment, earnings and training.

The UK fell three places in the index rankings from 16th in 2003 to 19th in 2007, retaining this 19th position in 2013. The UK improved its absolute performance over this period, but other OECD countries on average improved by a greater amount. Compared to other EU countries in our sample, however, the UK scored relatively well (7th out of 21 in 2013).

If the UK’s employment rate for workers aged 55-69 was equal to that of Sweden, which is the best performing EU country, then UK GDP would be around 5.4% higher, equivalent to around £100 billion at today’s GDP values. This would also help to meet the fiscal costs of an ageing population.

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