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Disability, Health and Retirement in the United Kingdom

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  • James Banks
  • Richard Blundell
  • Antoine Bozio
  • Carl Emmerson

Abstract

Over the last thirty years pathways to retirement have changed substantially in the UK. They have been dominated by spells of unemployment in the late 1970s, with then an increased importance of disability spells from the mid-1980s onwards. At the end of the period the direct route from work to retirement was increasingly more common. General economic conditions seem to have been important driving forces during the entire period. In contrast changes in health do not seem to provide convincing explanations for these trends: mortality has been falling over the period without any apparent link to the share of the population reporting ill health or disability or to the number claiming benefits. We also find evidence that recent reforms have had some impact. The halting of the previous growth in the rate of in-flow onto disability benefits in the mid-1990s coincided with the implementation of a major reform. Evidence from the pilots of the Pathways-to-Work programme in 2003-2005 suggests that those moving onto disability benefits moved off these benefits faster than they would otherwise have done as a direct result of the programme.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17049.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Publication status: published as Disability, Health and Retirement in the United Kingdom , James Banks, Richard Blundell, Antoine Bozio, Carl Emmerson. in Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Historical Trends in Mortality and Health, Employment, and Disability Insurance Participation and Reforms , Wise. 2012
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17049

Note: AG HE PE
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  1. Michael Anyadike-Danes & Duncan McVicar, 2008. "Has the Boom in Incapacity Benefit Claimant Numbers Passed Its Peak?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 29(4), pages 415-434, December.
  2. Hugo Benítez-Silva & Richard Disney & Sergi Jiménez-Martín, 2010. "Disability, capacity for work and the business cycle: an international perspective," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 25, pages 483-536, 07.
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Cited by:
  1. David Wise, 2010. "Facilitating longer working lives: International evidence on why and how," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages S131-S149, March.

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