O5.1 Work and retirement
Chair: Per Erik Solem
O5.1.1 Does the task specific retirement behaviour in Germany support the polarization hypothesis?
Laura Romeu Gordo1, Antje Mertens2, Laura Romeu Gordo1
1 DZA, German Centre of Gerontology, Germany, 2 HWR, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany
Women and men tend to retire at different ages,primarily due to different legal regulations but also because of differences in socio-demographic and employment characteristics. While some factors are well determined, few studies actually look into the determinants of retirement at the micro level. Especially one factor has not beenstudied before - the performance of different tasksat the workplace. We use two different data sets to study whether and how the performance of different tasks influences the likelihood for retirement. We use task measures from the German Qualification and Career Survey (BIBB/IAB) to test whether they significantly have an effect on the hazard of leaving socially insured employment. Our analysis shows that tasks do indeed significantly influence the retirement behaviour, as do - besides socio-demographic characteristics and the sector of employment - firm characteristics and unemployment experience. Consistent with the technological change hypothesis higher percentages of routine manual tasks lead to a higher likelihood to leave employment while higher percentages of non-routine manual tasks decrease the likelihood to retire. With respect to analytical, interactive and routine cognitive tasks, women's retirement behaviour also supports the task change hypothesis: Routine cognitive tasks tend to have a positive, analytical and interactive tasks a negative influence on the timing of retirement. However, the retirement behaviour of men is being influenced less clearly by tasks. Finally, we do not find support of the polarization hypothesis as workers with low and medium educational levels do not significantly differ in their retirement behaviour.
O5.1.2 Changes in social networks across retirement transition: the Finnish retirement and aging study
Maarit Kauppi1, Marianna Virtanen1, Jaana Pentti2, Ville Aalto1, Mika Kivimäki1, 2, Jussi Vahtera3, Sari Stenholm3,
1 Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland, 2 Clinicum, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland, 3 University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Finland
Background: Retirement is major life transition in late life. This study examined potential changes in social networks across retirement transition.
Methods: The study population consisted of 1,159 participants from the Finnish Retirement and Aging Study (FIREA). Information about social network size assessed by the Social Convoy Model was gathered from the repeated postal surveys conducted once a year across retirement transition, covering on average three study waves.
Results: Mean size of total social network was 21.8 members before retirement, and it decreased by 1.37 (95% CI -2.10, -0.65) members during retirement transition. Mean number of strong ties (i.e. the closest relationships) was 5.5 members before retirement and it did not change significantly during retirement transition (-0.20, 95% CI -0.46, 0.05). Mean number of weak ties (i.e. less close relationships, acquaintances) was 16.4 members before retirement and it decreased by 1.16 (95% CI -1.80, -0.52) members during retirement transition.
Conclusions: Social network, especially the number of weak ties decreased during retirement transition. As social relations and weak ties in particular have been associated to individual’s health and longevity, it would be essential to increase opportunities to maintain and strengthen interpersonal relationships during retirement transition.
O5.1.3 Retirement age and cognitive functioning in old age: the role of stimulating occupational activities
Isabel Baumann1, Harpa Sif Eyjólfsdóttir2,3, Johan Fritzell2,3, Carin Lennartsson2,3, Alexander Darin-Mattsson2,3, Charlotta Nilsen2,3, Ross Andel4, Ingemar Kåreholt5, Julia Dratva1, Neda Agahi2,3
1 Zürich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland, 2 Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, 3 Stockholm University, Sweden, 4 University of South Florida, Tampa/International Clinical Research Center, USA, 5 Jönköping University, Sweden
We examined the association between the prolongation of working life and cognitive health in late-life; and whether the level of job-related cognitive stimulation affects the association between retirement age and cognitive functioning in old age.
We used data from Sweden where retirement age is flexible which allows us to compare individuals who extend their working life beyond age 65 with those who retire earlier. We linked the nationally representative LNU, SWEOLD and annual tax register data to create a longitudinal database. As the timing of retirement may be driven by selection effects, we used propensity score matching based on socio-demographic and health-related variables, followed by logistic regression analysis.
We found that working longer was associated with better cognitive functioning around age 75. Yet there was substantial heterogeneity that was explained by the level of cognitive stimulation in individuals’ occupational activity. In fact, we observed more positive effects of prolonging working life on cognitive functioning for individuals who worked in more stimulating occupations as compared to those who worked in less stimulating occupations.
Using longitudinal data and a causal approach that allows for tapping into mechanisms underlying the association between retirement and cognition, our results suggest that working longer and in more stimulating occupations contributes to the maintenance of cognitive abilities in old age.
O5.1.4 Influences on the average duration of bridge employment
Volker Cihlar1, Ursula Staudinger2
1 Federal Institute for Population Research, Germany, 2 Columbia University, Columbia Aging Center, New York, USA
Background: Paid work after retirement mostly is a short-duration phenomenon. This presentation focusses on the influence of job selection on the duration of bridge employment. Does it make a difference if those who engage in bridge employment just continue to work in their former career job or if they choose to work in a different occupation?
Methods: The analytic sample is a subsample of the Transitions and Old Age Potential (TOP) dataset, a longitudinal life-phase study with two waves of persons aged 57 to 73. For the reported study, the sample was limited to those persons who had started bridge employment after their career job but had already resigned at the second measurement point. This leads to a total analytic sample of N=160. A stepwise linear regression in five models examines the connection of selected independent variables with the duration of bridge employment, the zero order regression being the change of occupation.
Research results: Change of occupation is a stable predictor in all five models. Controlling for selected variables, persons who experienced a change in their occupation from career job to bridge employment stayed 1.9 years longer bridge employed than those who solely extended their career job to bridge employment (B=1.85; p<0.001).
Conclusions: Designing workplaces for bridge employment, employers and employees should ensure novelty in the scope of work in relation to career jobs. A workplace which has been newly selected or tailored for retirement age might increase motivation as well as manageability of occupational tasks.
O5.1.5 Danish working life-courses, seniors and lessons for now and the future, for extending working lives
University of Brighton Business School, UK
Background: This Danish research project interviewed older workers (ages 60-70), across several sectors and occupations. Aim: to discover the enablers and hindrances to remaining employed.
Methods: Case Study Research using qualitative interviewing, the framework based on the five life-course principles: life-span, time and place, timing, agency and linked lives. The Clean Language technique was used to enable unbiased questions, and responses based on the interviewees own experiences, e.g. “How similar or different to your work experiences are those of your friends?”
Research results: The agency and linked lives principles produced most data, evidencing that older workers’ agency over their working life is not dependent on their job status; that they make retirement decisions with little consultation; caring happens across the working life-course, and in this life stage can encompass caring for parents, children and grandchildren. Workplaces could be more senior friendly; management’s ‘senior policy’ has not been as effective as some hoped.
Conclusions: Enablers and hindrances begin earlier in the working life-course, not just from age 60. Working life involves employees and their families and colleagues, employers and the working environment, and national policies. The gap between such policies and the lived experiences could easily be closed by changing implementation and guiding employers more. Making the gap visible could enable seniors to ask for their individual work needs to be met. Using the life-course to underpin policies may change both the policymakers’ perspective and working conditions. Caring responsibilities are significant in work decisions, across the working life-course.
O5.1.6 Securing old-age income in times of rising employment uncertainty: Comparing
7 European countries
Dirk Hofäcker, Sina
Schadow, Janika Kletzing
University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
Faced with demographic ageing, many countries have introduced multi-pillar pension systems – combining public, occupational and private pensions – to ensure the future sustainability of old age income. Young labour market entrants are often expected to invest into such plans. At the same time, the labor market situation of youth has worsened, as they often face (long-term) unemployment and are disproportionately found in atypical work. The uncertainty associated with these employment instabilities hinders young people to make appropriate savings for old age.
Our paper will analyze evidence from seven selected country cases – Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Poland, Estonia and Ukraine – to investigate what consequences employment uncertainties have for young people’s future pensions and to what degree country-specific policies mediate their possibly detrimental effect.
The paper utilizes findings from institutional analyses of public pension systems. In additions, expert interviews with scientists as well as administrators from financial institutions are used to similarly assess the effect of employment uncertainties on private and occupational pension plans.
Results and conclusionsThe paper synthesizes the findings from these analyses and derives policy recommendations to ensure sustainable pensions for future generations. It highlights that the ability of public pension systems to ensure a decent standard of living is shrinking. Additional pension plans, however, are often not fully able to fill this pension gap, particularly for those young people facing employment uncertainties. Against this background, the paper argues for an extension of mandatory savings into occupational and private plans, supported by respective governmental policies.