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What Triggers Early Retirement? Results from Swiss Pension Funds

Author

Listed:
  • Monika Bütler
  • Olivia Huguenin
  • Federica Teppa

Abstract

Early retirement is predominantly considered as the result of incentives set by social security and the tax system. But people seem to retire early even in the absence of such distortions as the Swiss example demonstrates. We look for determinants of early retirement, in particular the role of lifetime income and family status, using individual data from a selection of Swiss pension funds. Our findings suggest that affordability is a key determinant in retirement decisions: More affluent men, and to a much smaller extent women, tend to leave the work force earlier. The fact that early retirement has become much more prevalent in the last 15 years is another indicator for the importance of affordability as Switzerland's funded pension system has matured over that period leading to higher effective replacement rates. We also find sizeable differences in retirement behavior across marital status. These may be explained by a constrained rational choice based on differential mortality and the desire of couples to coordinate their entry into retirement. JelClassification: D91, H55

Suggested Citation

  • Monika Bütler & Olivia Huguenin & Federica Teppa, 2005. "What Triggers Early Retirement? Results from Swiss Pension Funds," DNB Working Papers 041, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:041
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Hallberg & Matias Eklöf, 2010. "Do buy-outs of older workers matter?: Estimating retirement behavior with special early retirement offers," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 337-359, June.
    2. Bütler, Monika & Staubli, Stefan & Zito, Maria Grazia, 2008. "The Role of the Annuity's Value on the Decision (Not) to Annuitize: Evidence from a Large Policy Change," CEPR Discussion Papers 6930, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Justina A.V. Fischer & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2006. "The Institutional Determinants of Early Retirement in Europe," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2006 2006-08, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    4. Piera Bello & Vincenzo Galasso, 2015. "Old Before their Time: The Role of Employers in Retirement Decisions," CESifo Working Paper Series 5667, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Piekkola, Hannu & Deschryvere, Matthias, 2004. "Retirement Decisions and Option Values: Their Application Regarding Finland," Discussion Papers 951, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    6. repec:eme:ijmpps:ijm-02-2016-0041 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Barbara Hanel & Regina Riphahn, 2006. "Financial Incentives and the Timing of Retirement: Evidence from Switzerland," Working Papers 009, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    8. Alejandra Cox Edwards & Estelle James, 2010. "Impact of Social Security Reform on Labor Force Participation Rates of Pensioners and Nonpensioners: Evidence from Chile," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 130-172.
    9. Nicolas Sirven & Thomas Barnay, 2017. "Expectations, loss aversion and retirement decisions in the context of the 2009 crisis in Europe," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(1), pages 25-44, April.
    10. Monika Riedel & Helmut Hofer, 2013. "Determinants of the Transition from Work into Retirement," NRN working papers 2013-10, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    11. Carmen Petrovici & Jörg Neugschwender, 2014. "Who can (still) afford to retire early? Cross-country comparison of incomes of senior workers and young retirees using LIS data for 2007 & 2010," LIS Working papers 608, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    12. Marjan, MAES, 2008. "Financial and redistributive impact of reforming the old-age pension system in Belgium," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2008040, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    13. David Dorn & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2010. "'Voluntary' and 'involuntary' early retirement: an international analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(4), pages 427-438.
    14. Christian Keuschnigg & Mirela Keuschnigg & Christian Jaag, 2011. "Aging and the Financing of Social Security in Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 147(II), pages 181-231, June.
    15. Estelle James & Alejandra Cox Edwards, 2005. "Do Individual Accounts Postpone Retirement: Evidence from Chile," Working Papers wp098, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Occupational Pension; Retirement decision; Duration models;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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