Working past 65 in the UK and the USA: segregation into ‘Lopaq’ occupations?

David Lain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A prominent business case for employing older people in the 2000s suggests diverse employment opportunities existed for Britons over 65, despite their limited employment rights. However, it is hypothesized that employees over 65 were disproportionately segregated into less desired ‘Lopaq’ occupations: these were low paid, required few qualifications and were often part-time. The UK is contrasted with the USA, a country with long-established age discrimination legislation; the Labour Force Survey and Current Population Survey are analysed. A greater UK concentration in Lopaq occupations suggests employers, working in a context of limited employee rights, selectively retained and recruited people in their 60s to these jobs. An alternative explanation, that Lopaq employment levels reflected the characteristics of those choosing to work, is unsupported by logistic regression analysis. US evidence suggests that the 2011 default retirement age abolition will weaken UK Lopaq occupational segregation after 65 more than voluntaristic commitments to ‘age-diversity’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-94
Number of pages17
JournalWork, Employment and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2012


  • Age and employment
  • Age discrimination
  • Age-diversity
  • Equality and diversity
  • Labour market segmentation
  • Older workers
  • Post-retirement work
  • Working past 65


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