This paper demonstrates the potential power of linking SHARE survey data with administrative data. Administrative records from the German public pension provider identify those workers who benefit from the new early retirement pathway “retirement with 63” while SHARE data describe their socio-economic and health status. The beneficiaries of the reform are not the underprivileged as claimed by the government – they actually have a higher average net household income. There is no evidence that the beneficiaries are more often ill than non-beneficiaries. In fact, the opposite appears to be the case.