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Does Raising the Retirement Age increase Employment of Older Workers?

  • Stefan Staubli
  • Josef Zweimüller

Two pension reforms in Austria increased the early retirement age from 60 to 62 for men and from 55 to 58.25 for women. The reforms reduced early retirement by 18.9 percentage points among affected men aged 60-62 and by 22.3 percentage points among affected women aged 55-58.25. The associated increase in employment was merely 6.8 percentage points among men and 10.1 percentage points among women. The reforms had large spillover effects to the unemployment insurance program but negligible effects on disability insurance claims. Specifically, unemployment increased by roughly 10 percentage points both among men and women. Spillover effects had substantial fiscal implications. Absent spillover effects, the reduction of net government expenditures would have amounted to 264 million Euros per year. Due to higher unemployment insurance claims and associated foregone income tax revenues the actual reduction was only 148 million Euros. High-wage and healthy workers carried the bulk of the fall in net government expenditures. Low-wage and less healthy workers generated much less government savings as they either continue to retire early via disability pensions or bridge the gap to regular retirement by drawing unemployment benefits.

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Paper provided by The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series NRN working papers with number 2012-06.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2012_06
Contact details of provider: Postal: NRN Labor Economics and the Welfare State, c/o Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, Altenbergerstr. 69, 4040 Linz
Phone: +43-732-2468-8216
Fax: +43-732-2468-8217
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  1. John Bound & Todd Stinebrickner & Timothy Waidmann, 2007. "Health, Economic Resources and the Work Decisions of Older Men," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20076, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
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