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What can we learn from retirement expectations data?

Author

Listed:
  • Richard Disney

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Sussex)

  • Tanner, Tanner

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

Abstract

This paper analyses retirement expectations and outcomes using the two waves of the UK Retirement Survey, undertaken in 1988-89 and 1994. We argue that responses to questions on expectations are not straightforward to interpret where individuals are asked to report point expectations. As in the studies for the US by Bernheim, the evidence here suggests that individuals tend to report their most likely retirement date. About half of the sample retired when they expected. Men tend to retire earlier than expected on average, but with only two waves of data we cannot reject that this is caused by a common shock over the period. Changes in health and marital status are linked to divergences between expectations and realisations. We extend the analysis to consider ?on? know' responses, which we argue may be a rational response when individuals face greater uncertainty over their future retirement date. We provide evidence to support this hypothesis. Finally, we show that information on expectations can improve the accuracy of models of actual retirement behaviour, most likely because they provide a suitable proxy for unobserved tastes for income and leisure.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Disney & Tanner, Tanner, 1999. "What can we learn from retirement expectations data?," IFS Working Papers W99/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:99/17
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    File URL: http://www.ifs.org.uk/wps/wp9917.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Whitehouse, Edward, 2000. "Pension reform, financial literacy and public information: a case study of the United Kingdom," MPRA Paper 10323, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Mauro Mastrogiacomo, 2006. "Testing consumers' asymmetric reaction to wealth changes," CPB Discussion Paper 53, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    3. Kluth, Sebastian, 2014. "Should I Stay or Should I Go? The Role of Actuarial Reduction Rates in Individual Retirement Planning in Germany," MEA discussion paper series 201409, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    4. Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli & Mario Padula, 2009. "Pension Risk, Retirement Saving and Insurance," EIEF Working Papers Series 0902, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Apr 2009.
    5. Bottazzi, Renata & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2005. "Retirement Expectations, Pension Reforms and Their Effect on Private Wealth Accumulation," CEPR Discussion Papers 4882, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Hugo Benítez-Silva & Debra Dwyer & Wayne-Roy Gayle & Thomas Muench, 2008. "Expectations in micro data: rationality revisited," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 381-416, March.
    7. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Stillman, Steven, 2006. "The Retirement Expectations of Middle-Aged Individuals," IZA Discussion Papers 2449, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Pierre-Carl Michaud & Arthur vanSoest, 2006. "How Did the Elimination of the Earnings Test Above the Normal Retirement Age Affect Retirement Expectations?," Working Papers wp135, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    9. Bottazzi, Renata & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2006. "Retirement expectations, pension reforms, and their impact on private wealth accumulation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(12), pages 2187-2212, December.
    10. Bonsang, Eric & Adam, Stéphane & Perelman, Sergio, 2012. "Does retirement affect cognitive functioning?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 490-501.
    11. Steven J. Haider & Melvin Stephens, 2007. "Is There a Retirement-Consumption Puzzle? Evidence Using Subjective Retirement Expectations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 247-264, May.
    12. Benitez-Silva, Hugo & Dwyer, Debra S., 2006. "Expectation formation of older married couples and the rational expectations hypothesis," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 191-218, April.
    13. Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli & Mario Padula, 2013. "Pension Wealth Uncertainty," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 80(4), pages 1057-1085, December.
    14. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Mona Larsen, 2010. "The impact of health on individual retirement plans: self-reported versus diagnostic measures," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(7), pages 792-813.
    15. Steven Haider & Mel StephensJr., 2006. "How Accurate are Expected Retirement Savings?," Working Papers wp128, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    16. M. Baldini & C. Mazzaferro & P. Onofri, 2015. "Pension expectations and reality. What do Italian workers know about their future public pension benefits?," Working Papers wp1007, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    17. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2001. "Imperfect Knowledge, Retirement and Saving," NBER Working Papers 8406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Kluth, Sebastian, 2014. "Should I Stay or Should I Go? The Role of Actuarial Reduction Rates in Individual Retirement Planning in Germany," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100413, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    19. Tullio Jappelli & Mario Padula & Renata Bottazzi, 2003. "Retirement Expectations and Pension Reforms," CSEF Working Papers 92, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    20. Mauro Mastrogiacomo, 2004. "On Expectations, Realizations and Partial Retirement," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-052/3, Tinbergen Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Retirement behaviour; expectations;

    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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