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Working Retirees

What drives Europeans to continue working after retirement age?
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In European countries, working retirees form a relatively new group in the workforce. The so-called “bridge employment” that allows seniors to have paid work while simultaneously receiving their pension benefits is often seen as a resource to counteract the effects of ageing societies. In a new study, Ellen Dingemens, Kène Henkens and Hanna van Solinge explored the individual and societal factors that may affect participation in the labour force after retirement. Their results highlighted that individual determinants like family-related factors (for example, divorce or widowhood, especially for women), high educational attainment and good health positively influence the likelihood to continue in employment after retirement age.  Bridge employment is also influenced by one’s societal environment. For instance, it is more likely to occur in countries where pension expenditures are relatively low. Stronger societal support for working retirees was also related to a higher likelihood of working in bridge jobs. In some of these countries (Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands), however, the number of working hours was relatively low, which means that bridge employment was only a small part of pensioners’ daily activities.


Source: Dingemans, Ellen, Henken, Kène, & van Solinge, Hanna (2017): Working retirees in Europe: individual and societal determinants. In: Work, Employment and Society: 1-20.