Age management – current situation with regards to local job market situation

Motto: „The young see sharper, the elder deeper”

                                                                                         (Diversity of generations in s workplaces) 

The spread of awareness about age management in Hungary, presentation of researches related to it Because of the demographic changes, across Europe it is an aim to improve awareness and understanding of the sustainability of working life. “According to the Pan-European opinion polls in Europe only 12% of workers are aware of workplace rules and programs that make it easier for older workers to remain in application or in the workplace after the retirement age. [1]

The Hungarian Ministry of National Economy states: ‘the Europe 2010 Strategy, such as demographic changes raise major issues that Europe must face today. The set goal is for the EU Member States by 2020 that the population aged 20-60 should have a 75% rate of employment.

The EU target goal can be achieved in Hungary if the right strategy to manage the aging workforce is applied. It is important to highlight the improvement of occupational safety and health conditions, identification and exchange of good and effective work practices. The aging population of workers belong to the vulnerable employees and therefore conservation, rehabilitation and helping them to return to working capacity is of the utmost importance. It is therefore necessary to deal with issues of age discrimination. 

In addition to providing age-appropriate employment conditions, the development of productivity incentive solutions, nursing of the aging and old back to work, facilitating and ensuring life long learning makes age management required in Hungary too! 

Healthy workplaces for all ages,”

The IV. Opportunity Conference dealt with especially in the “Generational diversity in the workplace” within the theme of age management issues in Hungary, 2015. At the conference the Diversity Charter was signed, by nearly 40 companies (Hungarian, foreign) to join the initiative, committing to develop accepting workplace culture.

The Ministry of Human Resources supports the initiative that serves the creation of opportunities and cooperation between generations in Hungary.

The State Secretary of the Ministry of IV. Opportunities Conference (2015) framed the Hungarian position: “We attach importance to the cooperation in between generations, and the transfer of each other’s values. The elderly and young people are resources all the same, so this initiative is important to the Ministry of Human Resources.” [4]

More and more Hungarian employers are convinced that there is a strong intent of paradigm shift among employers. Employers are increasingly focusing on attracting and retaining the older age group (50+).

Adam Zeitler (head of Milestone Institute) expressed the vision in the Conference: “Some research suggests that seven out of then of today’s preschool pupils will work a job that do not yet exists. It is therefore no coincidence that the world’s largest companies prefer those diplomas, which provide non-technical, transferable skills and abilities. The Hungarian higher education is not like this.” [5]

“Everyone has different talents in different ways – although in different kind – but it is present. Inclusive attitudes and diversity is encoded in McDonald’s system. We strive to ensure that the training and support for all media, in which the press can recognize the strengths that contain better than others, and even the ability to develop, exploit them.” [6]

The European Foundation for the improvement of Living and Working Conditions: “The impact of the recession in age management policies” research (2010) assessed the management practices of companies that have taken place during the recession. The study conducted in nine European Union Member States (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) to assess what kind of national or institutional is policy followed by the positions of the elderly (50 + 9 maintaining workers in employment). [7]

Pension age limit as described by law and the review of suggested changes in the member states:

Country Men Women Suggested Changes Comments
Austria 65 60 yes
Belgium 65 65 no
Czech Republic 62 61 yes The retirement age raised to 63 years for men in 2016 and for childless women 29 onwards. Women with children will retire between 59 and 62 years of age, depending on the number of children raised (the retirement age for women currently 57-61 years, depending on the number of children).
Hungary 62 62 yes The retirement age will rise to 65 years for men in 2018 for women in 2020.
Latvia 62 62 yes Gradually raising the state pension age to 65 years, until 2021.
the Netherlands 65 65 yes Negotiations are under way about the retirement age: to 66 years in 2020, to 67 by 2025.
Spain 65 65 yes Between 2013-2027 the retirement age rises from 65 to 67.


Sweden 65 65 no The retirement age is flexible. State pension from the age of 61 may apply for the pension built system, delaying retirement incentives.
United Kingdom 65 60 yes From 2018, women must spend 65 years to qualify for a pension, as well as men, the retirement age will be 66 years for both sexes by 2020. The previous Pension Act stipulates that between 2034 and 2036 it will rise to 67, between 2044 and 2046 to 68. The default retirement age was abolished.

The ability to work measuring key aspects of aging and older workers in employment in Hungary:

The main objective of the century is the quality of aging and old age. Aging is a fact of life and not a disease, even if it increases the risk of many diseases.

The sharp rise in the number of people over 65 is expected by 2050: the new EU member states this age group by 88% in the old Member States by 75% will be more populous than in 2004. The largest increase is expected for over 80 years: their proportion of the EU Member States average of 174% higher than at present.

“Adopted resolution to aging and old age cannot be treated as a single model, the third stage of life is not the “gray mass”, but also the unique aging’s normal and pathological changes of diversity”. [8] 

As aging occurs in the context of the whole process of life, it is an important feature of the life’s cycle so-called “functional capacity” (FC) evolution. FC means of personal physical, mental and social operation capacities.

The advancing age decreases:

  • The physical work capacity of the heart and respiratory system performance.
  • After 30 years the muscle power is reduced to about 1-2% per year.
  • The lower physical performance is mainly a problem in jobs with high physical work load;
  • The muscle mass and strength reduced by 30%,
  • The conduction of nerve fibers slow down by 15-25%,
  • The brain weight will be less of about 0,3 kg
  • The vital lung capacity by the age of 75 has been cut in half,
  • The renal excretory function decreases by more than half,
  • The vision and hearing affected 70-80%.
  • All ages are important differences between individuals in terms of functional capabilities” [9]

The so-called elders belong to vulnerable groups. It is this category of workers, employees, which included physical, mental endowments and their condition increasingly threaten as a result of work-related risks or themselves may represent an increased risk in performing their work.

The joyful work has health-care and medical benefits that have already been announced for the ancient Greeks.

“Nothing is so destructive to the human body as a long-term inactivity.”


WAI = Hungarian-English contact:

Original document:

Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) 1.0


Hungarian translation (WAI-Aria)

Age management institutes, organizations, research centers in Hungary 

  1. KÖVET Association for Sustainable Economies

A summary of technical resources – already described -, and the results of further articles available related to the Hungarian age management 

In the second decade of the century, if we look at the company workforce (employees) pyramid, we find that the 18-20-year-olds to 60 years + staff of all ages work together in Hungary. There are four or five generations present in the active job market.

Today’s workers are the backbone layer both in number and importance in terms of the members of Generation X (1965-1981) and baby boomers (1945-1964). Some trades occur in the “Veterans” (1925-1945) and representatives of Generation Z (1995-2010) young people knocking on the door. Recent graduates, young workers and layers of Generation Y (1982-1995) born.

Hungarian – work experience, studies show – the organization is able to effectively work with all generations represented. Unfortunately, few organizations are operating like this.

Dr. Poór József, certified management consultant says: “efficient and effective cooperation between the different age groups and to iron out differences in thinking in terms of one of the most important keywords of “age management [10] 

Hungary is very distressing to 55+ employment. Between 55-59 years 44% unemployment for over 60 years, this figure reaches 85%. Jaszberenyi Joseph (Charles Sigismund College) states the following on the matter: “While in the developed western countries the elderly in relation to age management deals with issues such as the development of competencies, adequate working conditions and the right mental and life skills preparation for retirement age, our country, the main task of older workers in the labor market orientation and work to eliminate discrimination against them”[11]

Hungary’s population is increasingly aging, but on the job market it is as if over fifty years’ life would disappear. 50 years older can barely find positions, or work. Many people recognize that older workers composure, experience, skills and loyalty of choice is a fundamental value (could provide) for each company.

The Hungarian attitude change and more experience say that people live longer – an increase in the number of older and elderly people – increasingly urgent task is to promote a greater proportion of the population showing the generational, social, economic usefulness. It is regarded as an important task for both the younger and older generations and the aging what the vision of positive conditions and opportunities mean.

In the present – but especially in the near and distant future – the aging and elderly employment is defined in Hungary by the following factors: ” expected demographic trends of the first decade of the century, labor market conditions, the pension system, human factors, ability to work and health, social responsibility” [12]

Active population between 15-74 /person (2009-2013):[13]

year                                     people/thousand                               ratio/%

2009                                                   4.202                                      54,5

2010                                                   4.256                                      55,4

2011                                                   4.279                                      55,8

2012                                                   4.353                                      56,9

2013                                                   4.387                                      57,5

Characteristic of the labor market in Hungary that influence an aging and older people’s employability: the state strongly influencing the labor market shaping (various taxes, levies, income), wage labor, the suppression of public employment emergence, growth in the number of year-on-year the under-educated – disadvantaged – displacement.

In Hungary, the XXI century’s first decade was drafted – is done in some companies – both theoretical and practical objectives for the recruitment of age management. The main objectives are raised certain that the present social and economic life will highlight: the old age profession is emphasized, attitude change process started, the aging and aging research, both theoretical and practical formulations promotes aging, correct assessment of the human resources’ political management, lifelong learning, disseminate age-friendly and alternative work schedules, ensuring a dignified transition from working years into retirement.

In Hungary, in 2009 the National Strategy on Aging states in particular that priority duties to the “aging process” Management ” needs to be spread at an early age and social change in attitude both the economic and the social perception regarding aging”.[14]

In Hungary, according to the National Strategy on Aging on today’s aging and old age in employment these strategic issues came up:

  • Increasing the employment rate of people aged over 45
  • Increasing the retirement age center of aversion
  • A flexible, atypical, work activity corresponding to job creation’s Legal Environment
  • To promote the return to the labor market for the aging and older workers
  • Improving the skills of the aging and older workers in information technology
  • Offering alternative learning opportunities to obtain, help and improve conditions
  • Promoting life long learning in old age
  • Courses available to everyone – change of professions – second chances

Employment comparison data of some European counties 2013.[15] 


To maintain the ability to work, to promote opportunities – summary about Hungary:

  • Occupational preventive health services (screening) measures – with particular attention to the aging and elderly too
  • Aligning planned update requirements for the theoretical and practical knowledge gained in retaining skills and competences
  • Giving examples and development of, job loyalty, commitment, leading by example at work
  • The employers’ leadership and behavior in order to retain the ability to work
  • Increasing the maintenance of the working lives
  • Harmonization of the pension system and the aging and older workers in the interests of social integration


Good examples, organizations in Hungary dealing with the older workforce:

 Man gets old.

Aging is a complex process, that needs care. The multi-generational families are helped by trained professionals to assist in the medical, social, financial and legal matters.

The family and the elderly will do much to ensure the proper care – regardless of the distance part – time, energy and patience does not sound professional help.

The work was done by a lawyer who provides a variety of legal questions, will help to find the necessary services to the questions raised.

What can the progressive-minded employers do in Hungary for older workers:

Acknowledgement. The US initiative named “Best Workplace for 50+”  in formal and national level, however by setting up organizations within their respective competences is within individual, team-level corporation and recognition programs. The Scripps Health , which has repeatedly won the aforementioned award, organized special events for workers at the company to celebrate colleagues.

Training. The training is a priority for all of the groups involved, how to relate to discrimination against them and sensitization of other employees also towards older people. Started the US in the 80s,  it has been, mainly training for executives and managers so that they were able to significantly influence the thinking and behavior about the subject. Hungary has recently started cooperation with one of the largest domestic telecom operators on the issue.

Knowledge preservation. A relatively new phenomenon comes from the knowledge-intensive industries (pharmaceuticals, IT, finance), and is directed to the retiring employees not to “get out” of the importance of knowledge of the system. Monsanto, the Aerospace Corporation and Cigna Insurance conducts such programs for formal knowledge for years.  A CVS uses retired pharmacists to be the youth’s mentor.

Internal regulations, policy changes. The Tennessee Valley Authority, the largest public employer in the US in 2004 surveyed workers near retirement age as to would they like to retire and transformed the workforce based on the feedback. The Aerospace Corporation Ergonomics Program continually assesses the views of workers about work chairs, tables, equipment for comfort and functional adequacy of the physical environment. Scripps Health uses specialized labor mediator to take care of older workers. 

Older workers are given light verbal and non-verbal reminders every day that they are more worthless and less desirable for employers than their younger counterparts. Along such stereotypes as “cannot keep up,” “not quite dynamic,” “difficult to train” or “no longer want to work.” This is not only painful, but also, as we have just seen, the commitment is reduced by this. The elderly health and mental state is much better than in the past, we took a big step forward, however, the picture about them with Hungary, in many cases, did not develop much in parallel. A future goal would be for businesses to take age into the much-talked-diversity among the elements of the era, such as gender, sexual orientation and cultural diversity has been more or less the final take.

[1] Ministry of National Economy 2014. Simon Attila István Budapest

[2] National Talent Program: „Third of the european workers are elders – age management is mandatory”


[4] IV. Opportunity Conference Budapest (2015) Horváth Ágnes (

[5] IV. Opportunity Conference (2015) Zeitler Ádám  (

[6] IV. Opportunity Conference (2015) Zeitler Ádám  (

[7] Europen Foundation: The impact of the recession in age management policies (

[8] Development of Occupational Health and Safety TÁMOP-2.4.8-12/1-2012-0001

[9] Dr. Grónai Éva: (National Labour Office Work Hygiene and Occupational Health Department) key aspects of the employment of older workers

[10] Without the “Old-timers” it won’t roll. Market / Profit for SMEs page  

[11] Jászberényi József (ZSKF): „Without the “Old-timers” it won’t roll” Market /Profit kkv page (

[12] Szellő János University of Pécs (

[13] Source: Central Statistics Office Budapest 2014.

[14] National Elder Strategy Budapest (2009)

[15] Source: EUROSTAT



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