The effect of retirement and age at retirement on self-perceived health after three years of follow-up in Dutch 55-64 year-olds

Kelly Rijs, EMGO and VU Medical Centre Amsterdam
Rabina Cozijnsen, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Dorly J. H. Deeg, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Possible health consequences of retirement have not been included in the current public debate about increasing the age at retirement. This is in part caused by the fact that studies aimed at health consequences of retirement show ambiguous results. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of retirement and age at retirement on self-perceived health after three years. Subjects were 506 participants of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA). 216 persons retired at 55 to 64 years between baseline and follow-up. The control group consisted of 290 age peers who continued to work. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was applied to test the effect of (age at) retirement on self-perceived health with less than good as the deference category. Health, demographical, psychological, job, and retirement characteristics were tested for confounding and effect modification. No main effect was found for retirement. Age, education and receipt of disability pension were effect modifiers. Between the ages of 61-64 years, persons were less likely of attaining an excellent or good self-perceived health. Also, persons who were highly educated and persons who received a disability pension at baseline were less likely of having an excellent or good self-perceived health after retirement compared to those who continued working. For participants younger than 61, for lower educated participants and for those without disability pension, no unfavourable health differences between retirees compared to continued employment were observed. The results emphasise that retirement does not uniformly harm or benefit the health of persons.

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Presented in Session 50: Human capital, labor force, retirement and economic growth