Health, financial incentives and retirement in Spain

We estimate the impact of health and financial incentives on the retirement transitions of older workers in Spain. individual measures of pension wealth, peak and accrual values are constructed using labor market histories and health shocks are derived as changes in a composite health stock measure over time. we examine labour market exits into both old age retirement and a broader definition of retirement including inactivity, while controlling for unobserves heterogeneity. We find that pension wealth, accrual and peak value are significant determinants of retirement decisions, although their effect is weaker in the case of the broad definition of retirement. Initial health stock shows a significant impact on both defenitions of retirement. Only large negative health shocks have a significant effect on the probability of entering the broader definition of retirement. Unlike previous literature, we find that financial incentives, when measured adequately, exert a greater impact on retirement behaviour than health shocks, and initial health stock plays a more important role than health shocks in determining retirement decisions. We also perform simulations of a recently enacted reform of pension incentives and show how its expected effects compare to those of health improvements.

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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