Welcome everyone to the Wellbeing, Health, Retirement and the Lifecourse website
Welcome to the Website and Blog for WHERL, a new research project investigating ageing, work and health across the lifecourse. I am the Principal Investigator for the project, which involves 5 institutions and 3 project partners. We hope over the course of this project to make a significant contribution to our understanding of the interactions between paid work and health, especially in later life.
This 3 year interdisciplinary consortium is funded by the cross-research council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (LLHW) programme under Extending Working Lives. We will be examining a crucial question for ageing societies: how inequalities across the life course relate to paid work in later life in the UK. This issue is of growing importance since the UK, in common with many other governments across the world, is rapidly extending the working lives of older adults through the postponement of State Pension Age (SPA) and other measures. These policy reforms affect millions of people, yet their implications for health and wellbeing are unknown. Do these policies harm, benefit or have little effect on the population? To answer this, we need to understand the lifelong drivers affecting the complex relationship between paid work in later life, health and wellbeing.
Our project builds on an existing UK-Canadian collaboration examining life course influences on later life work trajectories across several European countries and the US. In addition to those of us at the Institute of Gerontology at King’s College London, the consortium brings together a unique interdisciplinary team involving universities and partner organisations including the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto; Research Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London; Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience also at King’s College London; Pensions Policy Institute; Age UK; and Department for Work and Pensions.
Using a wide variety of complex large scale datasets our interdisciplinary team will be tackling projects that cover three major areas: i) a comprehensive assessment of lifecourse determinants and consequences for health and wellbeing of working up to and beyond SPA; ii) an evaluation of whether (and how) these relationships have changed for different cohorts and over time; and iii) modelling of the financial consequences of working up to and beyond SPA for those with different lifecourse trajectories.
We do hope that you will follow us here and on twitter where we will tweet as @WHERLage.