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Ongoing project

Shades of Grey: Negotiating Age Norms, Class and Gender in the time of Pension Reform

How employers and employees manoeuvre under the new circumstances in The Norwegian pension reform.

Project period April 2020 - March 2024
Project nr. 10408
Project leader Anne Skevik Grødem
Grey rocks

Photo: Colourbox

Project Background — The Norwegian pension reform

The Norwegian pension reform has made it far more rewarding for older employees to remain in employment for longer, but, paradoxically, less beneficial for employers to retain them. This is because the pre-reform early retirement scheme AFP made employers partly financially responsible for employees’ early retirement, while the new AFP scheme contains no such mechanisms.

Project Aim — Employers and employees maneuver

This is the starting point for GREYSHADES. We wish to study how employers and employees manoeuvre under these new circumstances. We assume that adaptations vary both by gender and education, and aim to capture such variation in our analyses.

Project Approach

The project is organised in three work packages (WPs).

WP1 — Qualitative study of work organisations and enterprises 

We will interview HR-managers, line managers and senior employees in 4–6 enterprises with different gender and education profiles. The aim is to develop a broad overview of how these issues are perceived in the workplaces and by the seniors themselves.

WP2 — Analyse quantitative data from the NorLAG study

...and ask:

  • How do senior workersperceive their psychosocial work environment?
  • How have senior employees’ retirement plans changed over time?
  • What is the relationship between perceptions of psychosocial work environment and actual exit behaviour from the workforce?

WP3 — Managers’ attitudes

We will look into managers’ attitudes, as expressed in the survey Seniorbarometeret. We will analyse two questions:

  • In what ways have managers’ attitudes to senior workers changed over time?
  • How do managers’ attitudes vary by individual factors and workplace context?

GREYSHADES is a cooperation between the Institute for Social Research and Norwegian Social Research – NOVA at Oslo Metropolitan University, with contributions from the Centre for Senior Policy, the University of Canterbury and the University of Lausanne.


ParticipantDegree PhoneE-mail
Anne Skevik Grødem Research Professor Dr. polit. +47 920 56 232
Hege Sofie Hesselberg PhD Fellow Master +47 988 24 921
Ragni Hege Kitterød Research Professor Dr. polit. +47 950 50 375
Ines Wagner Research Professor PhD +47 907 82 170
Tale Hellevik
Katharina Herlofson
Axel West Pedersen
Sarah Vickerstaff
Nicky LeFeuvre


  • Grødem, Anne Skevik & Kitterød, Hege (2021). Older workers imagining retirement: the collapse of agency, or freedom at last? Ageing & Society. doi: 10.1017/S0144686X20002044. Full text in Research Archive
  • Grødem, Anne Skevik & Kitterød, Hege (2021). Combining Work and Pension in Norway: Gathering Information and Imagining the Future. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies. 12(1), p. 95–113. doi: 10.18291/njwls.127972. Full text in Research Archive

View all works in Cristin

  • Herlofson, Katharina; Hellevik, Tale & Pedersen, Axel West (2022). Hvordan måle alder for avgang fra yrkeslivet?
  • Hellevik, Tale & Herlofson, Katharina (2022). Older workers’ assessment of job resources in Norway – stability or change?
  • Herlofson, Katharina & Hellevik, Tale (2021). Heving av aldersgrensen i arbeidslivet er en styrking av tilliten til eldre arbeidstakere. KAI-kronikken.
  • Hellevik, Tale & Herlofson, Katharina (2021). Sjefer mener eldre arbeidstakere er slitne. Det er Bente-Lene (65) helt uenig i. [Newspaper]. Bergens Tidende - Magasinet.
  • Grødem, Anne Skevik (2021). Arbeidslinja for bestemødre? KAI-kronikken.

View all works in Cristin

Tags: Working Life, Welfare
Published July 28, 2020 11:32 AM - Last modified Nov. 13, 2020 11:22 AM