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The Recent Evolution of Retirement Patterns in Canada

  • Pierre-Carl Michaud
  • Philip Merrigan
  • Pierre Lefebvre

Using data from three waves of the General Social Survey on retirement and older workers (1994, 2002 and 2007), we document the evolution of retirement patterns over the last three decades. We combined the analysis of retirement ages of actual retirees with data on expected retirement ages of current workers to create a longer perspective on changes in retirement behaviour in Canada. We also investigate trends in work after retirement. Our findings are in line with findings from other countries. There is an upward trend in retirement ages which likely started around year 2000 for cohorts born after 1945. This trend contrasts with the slow decline in retirement ages observed prior to the end of the millennium. While the downward trend was likely due to factors such as the offering of early retirement programs in private firms, the upward trend is likely to be caused by a wider variety of sources, including better health, less pervasive defined benefit pensions and in general less generous pensions.

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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2012s-37.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2012s-37
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  1. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2001. "The Retirement Incentive Effects of Canada's Income Security Programs," NBER Working Papers 8658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Tammy Schirle, 2008. "Why Have the Labor Force Participation Rates of Older Men Increased since the Mid-1990s?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 549-594, October.
  3. T. Schirle, 2007. "Health, Pensions, and the Retirement Decision: Evidence from Canada," Working Papers eg0046, Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Economics, revised 2007.
  4. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1, July.
  5. Tammy Schirle, 2008. "Greener Pastures: Understanding the Impact of Retirement Incentives in Defined-benefit Pension Plans," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 262, May.
  6. admin, clsrn & Gomez, Rafael & Gunderson, Morley, 2009. "For Whom the 'Retirement' Bell Tolls: Inter-temporal Comparisons Using the 1994 and 2002 Canadian General Social Survey," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-31, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 22 Apr 2009.
  7. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Larsen, Mona, 2007. "Health Shocks and Retirement: The Role of Welfare State Institutions," MPRA Paper 15497, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Michaud, Pierre-Carl & Vermeulen, Frederic, 2011. "A collective labor supply model with complementarities in leisure: Identification and estimation by means of panel data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 159-167, April.
  9. Bender, Keith A. & Mavromaras, Kostas G. & Theodossiou, Ioannis & Wei, Zhang, 2014. "The Effect of Wealth and Earned Income on the Decision to Retire: A Dynamic Probit Examination of Retirement," IZA Discussion Papers 7927, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Gustman, Alan L & Steinmeier, Thomas L, 2000. "Retirement in Dual-Career Families: A Structural Model," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 503-45, July.
  11. Brown, W. Mark & Hou, Feng & Lafrance, Amelie, 2010. "Incomes of Retirement-age and Working-age Canadians: Accounting for Home Ownership," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2010064e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  12. Chan, Sewin & Stevens, Ann Huff, 2004. "Do changes in pension incentives affect retirement? A longitudinal study of subjective retirement expectations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1307-1333, July.
  13. Brown, W. Mark & Lafrance, Amelie, 2010. "Incomes from Owner-occupied Housing for Working-age and Retirement-age Canadians, 1969 to 2006," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2010066e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  14. Nicole Maestas & Julie Zissimopoulos, 2010. "How Longer Work Lives Ease the Crunch of Population Aging," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 139-60, Winter.
  15. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Introduction to "Social Security and Retirement around the World"," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 1-35 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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