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Leaving the labour market: the impact of exit routes from employment to retirement on health and wellbeing in old age
University of Gothenburg, Dept Sociology & Work Life Science.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2013 (English)In: European Journal of Ageing, ISSN 1613-9372, Vol. 10, no 1, 25-35 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The study analyses whether and to what degree specific routes into retirement affect older people, i.e. the relationship between heterogeneous exit patterns and post-retirement health and wellbeing. We used longitudinal data from two points in time; data related to t 0 were collected in 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996 and data related to t 1 were collected in 2002 and 2003 (N = 589). We focused on older people (55+ at t 1) who were employed at t 0 and retired at t 1. We used confirmative factor analysis to identify identical measures of health and wellbeing at both t 0 and t 1. Hence, we were able to control for pre-retirement health and wellbeing when evaluating the effects of different exit routes. These routes were defined as dependence on incomes from sickness benefit, disability pension, part-time pension, unemployment insurance and active labour market programmes. Our initial structural equation model showed a clear relation between exit routes and post-retirement wellbeing. People who prior to retirement were pushed into social benefit programmes related to health and unemployment were significantly worse off as retirees, especially those with health-related benefits. However, these relationships disappeared once pre-retirement wellbeing was added to the model. Our main conclusion is that post-retirement wellbeing first and foremost is a consequence of accumulation of advantages and disadvantages during the life course. Both labour market exit routes and post-retirement wellbeing can be seen as outcomes of this process. There are no independent effects of the retirement process. Judging from our findings, there is no reason to believe that involvement in social security programmes allowing early retirement on health grounds has any additional negative consequences for health and wellbeing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands, 2013. Vol. 10, no 1, 25-35 p.
Keyword [en]
Retirement, Health, Wellbeing, Labour market Longitudinal, Structural equation
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-64033DOI: 10.1007/s10433-012-0250-8OAI: diva2:587086
Available from: 2013-01-14 Created: 2013-01-14 Last updated: 2013-09-26Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The long and winding road: A life course approach to retirement behaviour
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The long and winding road: A life course approach to retirement behaviour
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: This thesis explores the retirement behaviour of older people approaching retirement decisions. The research questions in focus deal with the attitudes toward work, the retirement preferences and the subjective well-being of the "youngest old", i.e. people aged 55–64. The included studies analyse the social determinants of these subjective evaluations and how they predict the timing of retirement and post-retirement well-being.

Methods: In the included studies, methods are used that allow us to follow developments over time. Repeated cross-sectional analyses are employed to examine general developments pertaining to the older work force. These include OLS and logistic regression analysis. Longitudinal analyses are used to follow individual developments over time. These include Structural equation modelling and Cox regression analysis.

Results: The results indicate that subjective evaluations such as attitudes to work and retirement preferences, as well as subjective well-being, are closely related to the structural conditions to which individuals are exposed, i.e. class position and work environment. The results also indicate that subjective evaluations such as preferred exit age and subjective well-being reported while in the work force are determinants of both the timing of retirement (in the case of preferred exit age and pre-retirement subjective well-being) and post-retirement subjective well-being (in the case of pre-retirement subjective well-being).

Also, results indicate that recent policy changes in the Swedish pension systems are reflected in the retirement preferences of the older work force. A comparison of two time-points representing the incentive structure of the old and the new pension systems indicates that preferences were delayed with pension reform.

Conclusion: The thesis contributes a temporal perspective to a research field that is dominated by research studying retirement behaviour at a single point of in time. The included studies underline the value of understanding retirement behaviour as a process rather than an isolated event. The way people evaluate their work, their well-being and their retirement prospects is intimately intertwined with their earlier experience. These subjective evaluations affect future retirement outcomes. Life course approaches offer illuminating tools for examining and explaining the significance of the biographies behind retirement behaviour.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2013. 63 p.
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Sociologiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 1104-2508
Retirement Ageing Life course Well-being Work
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-80798 (URN)978-91-7459-720-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-10-18, Humanisthuset hörsal E, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (Swedish)
Panel Survey of ageing and the elderly
Available from: 2013-09-27 Created: 2013-09-26 Last updated: 2013-09-26Bibliographically approved

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Örestig, JohanStattin, Mikael
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