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The Recent Evolution of Retirement Patterns in Canada

  • Pierre Lefebvre
  • Philip Merrigan
  • Pierre-Carl Michaud

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 CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 1126.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:1126
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  1. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1, Abril.
  2. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Larsen, Mona, 2007. "Health Shocks and Retirement: The Role of Welfare State Institutions," MPRA Paper 15497, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. 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).
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  6. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2003. "The retirement incentive effects of Canada's Income Security programs," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(2), pages 261-290, May.
  7. 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.
  8. T. Schirle, 2007. "Health, Pensions, and the Retirement Decision: Evidence from Canada," Working Papers eg0046, Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Economics, revised 2007.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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