Retirement involves a set of institutional arrangements combined with socio-cultural meanings to sustain a distinct retirement phase in life course and career pathways. The articles outline that recent forces of change may lead to reinvention of retirement. There are factors that must be recognized as having a significant impact such as the fact that life expectancy and health status of adults over 60 has increased dramatically in recent years. Reinvention could involve change to one or more of the institutional arrangements supporting retirement. New financial risks and uncertainties loom large, as national and corporate pension arrangements are reconfigured to deal with ongoing financial turmoil.
The special issue considers the future of retirement and emphasises that understanding how retirement pathways are changing, and what is influencing them will remain a challenging research task. Institutional changes will be important, but are far from the only influences.