Working after retirement – evidence from Germany

Frank Micheel, Federal Institute for Population Research, Germany
Andreas Mergenthaler, Federal Institute for Population Research, Germany
Volker Cihlar, Federal Institute for Population Research, Germany
Jakob Schroeber, Federal Institute for Population Research, Germany

In the light of future demographic ageing, extending working life at the end of the career is considered as an appropriate measure to reduce the financial burden for the social security system. Whereas working after retirement is a topic intensively discussed e.g. in the U.S., little empirical work has been conducted in this area for Germany. In this presentation we investigate the differences between (1) retirees who work after retirement; (2) retirees who do not work but intend to do so; and (3) retirees who withdrew completely from labour force and show no interest in paid work. Data were taken from a survey sample entitled “TOP – Transitions and Old Age Potentials” with 5,002 German speaking people aged 55 to 70 years. Roughly one of four retirees indicates that he or she works in retirement. Surprisingly, the actual household income situation represented by net equivalent income does not have a significant effect neither on the intention to continue working nor on the decision to work beyond retirement. Rather a negative subjective view on the economic situation is a major determinant for post-retirement employment. As expected, good health supports the intention as well as the decision to work after retirement.

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Presented in Session 99: Economics, human capital and labour markets