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Immer mehr Menschen im Rentenalter sind berufstätig


  • Karl Brenke


Between 2001 and 2011, the number of retirement-aged people in Germany still in employment approximately doubled to almost 760,000. The over-65 age group rose faster than any other in the workforce during this period. DIW Berlin has examined the employment situation of older workers in Germany in an attempt to find the underlying causes of this sharp increase. The results: the reason for this significant increase is primarily the changing labor market behavior of older people, rather than demographic factors. Half of them have been self-employed or helping with family businesses; no other group has such a high percentage of self-employed workers. In the majority of cases, those who are employed work part-time, such as in "mini-jobs"; the self-employed often work full-time. In 2001, elementary occupations accounted for the largest group of employed people aged over 65, but in 2011, the largest group was academic professionals. Overall, the qualification structure of older people was no worse than that of younger workers. The monthly household income of workers of retirement age is on average only slightly lower than that of other workers. In many cases, it does not seem to be financial hardship that drives over-65-year-olds to stay in work: even without their earnings, the vast majority of workers of retirement age (easily two-thirds) would receive a monthly household income above the level considered to be a "poverty risk." On average, the working elderly are more satisfied than their non-working peers, which applies to health, income, and life in general. Zwischen 2001 und 2011 hat sich die Zahl der Erwerbstätigen im Rentenalter in Deutschland auf rund 760 000 verdoppelt. In keiner anderen Altersgruppe ist die Zuwachsrate der Erwerbstätigen in dieser Zeit so deutlich gestiegen wie bei den Über-65- Jährigen. Das DIW Berlin hat die Erwerbssituation der Älteren in Deutschland analysiert und nach den Gründen für den starken Anstieg gesucht. Die Ergebnisse: Der Grund für den deutlichen Anstieg ist vor allem das veränderte Erwerbsverhalten der Älteren, weniger der demographische Faktor. Die Hälfte ist als Selbständige oder mithelfende Familienangehörige tätig, in keiner anderen Altersgruppe findet sich ein so hoher Selbständigenanteil. Arbeitnehmer sind in den allermeisten Fällen in Teilzeitverhältnissen wie Mini-Jobs tätig, die Selbständigen häufiger in Vollzeit. Die Struktur hat sich zu den Beschäftigten mit einer mittleren oder akademischen Qualifikation verschoben. Insgesamt ist die Qualifikationsstruktur unter den Älteren nicht schlechter als unter den jüngeren Erwerbstätigen. Die monatlichen Haushaltseinkommen der Beschäftigten im Rentenalter sind im Schnitt nur wenig geringer als die der anderen Erwerbstätigen. In vielen Fällen scheint es nicht die finanzielle Not zu sein, die die Über-65-Jährigen zur Arbeit treibt: Auch ohne ihren Verdienst würde der überwiegende Teil der Erwerbstätigen im Rentenalter - reichlich zwei Drittel - noch auf ein monatliches Haushaltsbudget kommen, das oberhalb der Grenze liegt, ab der ein "Armutsrisiko" vorliegen könnte. Im Schnitt sind die arbeitenden Alten zufriedener als ihre nicht erwerbstätigen Altersgenossen; das gilt sowohl für die Gesundheit, das Einkommen als auch für das Leben allgemein.

Suggested Citation

  • Karl Brenke, 2013. "Immer mehr Menschen im Rentenalter sind berufstätig," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 80(6), pages 3-12.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwob:80-6-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Born, Benjamin & Pfeifer, Johannes, 2014. "Policy risk and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 68-85.
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    Cited by:

    1. Larsen, Mona & Pedersen, Peder J., 2015. "Labor Force Activity after 60: Recent Trends in the Scandinavian Countries with Germany as a Benchmark," IZA Discussion Papers 9393, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    employment off the elderly in Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts


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