Gradual retirement and the role of part-time pensions

Part-time work is on the rise among older workers. We investigate gradual retirement by observing hours reductions of workers above age 60 in the Dutch Labour Force Survey (EBB). 1 out of 6 men of the current generations above age 60 work part-time, whereas this used to be 1 out of 14 for generations born before WWII. Large part-time jobs (between 20 and 32 hours per week) are most popular around the age of 62, and small part-time jobs (less than 12 hours per week) are relatively often observed around age 67. Part-time work is on the rise in all education groups, but remains
more prevalent among the higher educated (1 out of 5) than among medium and lower educated workers (1 out of 7). 1 out of 16 full-time working men above age 60 would like reduce hours and work part-time. Again ‘large’ and ‘small’ part-time work is desired; the intermediate category (between 12 and 20 hours per week) is not popular. A similar story holds for women, with the exception that the intermediate hours category is also popular among women. The discrepancy between desired and factual hours worked has not increased since 2006, but it has also not decreased even though part-time pensions are becoming somewhat more popular over time. It is still an open question whether part-time pensions can help closing the gap between
desire and fact, and help workers retiring gradually more often.

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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