Expected loss of work functions upon retirement: Do they shape post-retirement work plans?

Paid employment not only serves an important financial function for individuals, but it also serves significant non-financial functions, such as providing structure for one’s day and interpersonal interactions with colleagues. However, when one transitions into retirement, older individuals need to adjust to the loss of these functions of work (Damman, Henkens, & Kalmijn, 2015). It has been suggested in the literature that post-retirement work
may result in positive outcomes for older individuals, because it can provide retirees access to the functions of employment that were lost upon leaving their primary career job (Beehr & Bennett, 2015). It is still largely unknown, however, to what extent the anticipated loss of functions of work upon retirement motivates older employees to make plans for postretirement work. Therefore, the central research question that guides this study is: To what
extent do older workers expect to miss extrinsic and intrinsic functions of work upon retirement, and how does that relate to their plans to engage in paid and volunteer work once they leave their primary 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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