Time changes are occurring in relation to the working lifetime. Over the past decade, retirement patterns have undergone significant alteration; the average age of retirement has decreased in many countries, and a number of initiatives extending the flexibility of retirement have been introduced. The recent growth in early retirement has occurred via the proliferation of both company-based schemes and state schemes. The development of company early retirement policies has followed as a consequence of the growth of occupational pension schemes. Occupational pension schemes are far more extensive in the public than in the private sector, and among white-collar than blue-collar workers. The American decision to extend the provision for later retirement appears very much the exception in the current economic climate. Under the terms of the Swedish Partial Pensions Act, workers aged between 60 and 65 years and who meet certain eligibility requirements can apply to reduce their hours.