This article compares the evolution of employment policies pertaining to ageing population and workforce, and to management of career wind-down in Belgium and Quebec. The article focuses on a trend common to both societies: the promotion of measures aimed at managing working time arrangements toward career extension ("active ageing" in employment). Social transaction analysis applied to the situation under review reveals two distinct societal configurations and shows how structural factors (demographic evolution, retirement ratio and labour market) are not entirely adequate to explain such societal differences. Further explanation is reached when symbolic elements (the logical level) and a description of the actors' evolving positions are grafted to the pattern. The authors conclude that while there are different forms of working-time arrangements for the end of career or active life these relate to the same movement: enhancing individual accountability for extending their participation in the labour market.