Bridge employment after early retirement: A bridge to better postretirement well-being of older adults?

  • Ellen Dingemans Ellen Dingemans

Using a retirement arrangement does not necessarily mean that people retire fulltime.The phenomenon of bridge employment, already studied in the US, becomes increasingly popular among older adults in the Netherlands. The question is to what extent bridge employment can be beneficial for well-being of older adults during the retirement process, especially for older workers who are confronted with involuntary retirement. It is often noted that involuntary retirement is detrimental for well-being. However, it can be presumed that having a bridge job after this negative event can buffer the negativeconsequences for well-being. Multilevel longitudinal random intercept models and fixed effects models on the ‘NIDI Work and Retirement Panel’ data show that well-being is lower for people who experienced their retirement as forced. However, forced retirees who regainedcontrol over the retirement process by taking a bridge job do not seem to have lower levels of well-being compared to workers still in their main career job.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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