This paper examines how the economic climate and policy changes at national level have been affecting organisational practices, aimed at the extension of working lives of older workers, over the last decade. We analyse case studies conducted among Dutch organisations.Our findings show that personnel policies are typically short-term oriented and vary in their existence and content congruous to the economic climate. Policy changes in retirement arrangements, and the debate about raising the official retirement age, have made both employees and employers realise that the extension of working lives has become an unavoidable fact, although both parties still seem intrinsically opposed to it. Changes to safety regulations and the increase in costs for employers if employees drop out of work due to ill health have led to an increasing focus on health-related measures in professions with intense physical work over the last decade. We conclude that, while national level policy changes in areas like health and safety do percolate down and begin to affect organisational practice, it is at the organisational level that they still need to be worked through.