The individual and contextual determinants of paid and unpaid post-retirement work in Germany

Frank Micheel, Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)

This study investigates the prediction of paid and unpaid post-retirement work in Germany. Image theory provides the basis for the conceptual framework. For empirical analyses, data were taken from the representative survey “Transitions and Old Age Potentials – TOP” with 5,002 people aged 55 to 70 years. Both intentions to work in retirement in a sample of older workers (N=1,068) and actual work in retirement in a sample of pensioners (N=1,442) were examined. The outcome variable – trajectory image – consists of four types of work (no work, paid work, unpaid work, paid and unpaid work). Independent variables were categorised by theoretical criteria as: self-image, projected image, action image, and demographics. Multinomial regression analyses reveal that planning of paid and unpaid activities in retirement is a reliable predictor regarding post-retirement work (both intentions and actual behaviour). Interestingly, financial concerns do not play a major role in explaining paid post-retirement work. In conclusion, encouraging older adults in proactive retirement planning seems a promising starting point in dealing with the demographic ageing process in Germany.

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 Presented in Session 26. Aging and retirement