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Patterns of Retirement as Reflected in Income Tax Records for Older Workers

Author

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  • Frank T. Denton
  • Ross Finnie
  • Byron G. Spencer

Abstract

If retirement means a substantial and sustained reduction in the time spent working for pay or profit, measurement requires a definition of substantial and sufficient observations of the same individuals to determine whether a transition from “working” to “retired” status has occurred. Using the Statistics Canada Longitudinal Administrative Databank, a 20 percent sample of the individual income tax returns of all tax filers since 1980, we identify those with significant labour force attachment at ages 50-52, and follow them year by year. If retired means having no income from employment, the median age of retirement is about 63 for men, 62 for women. That is true for all cohorts. If earning up to half of one’s previous employment income is deemed consistent with being retired, the median age is about 60 for both men and women. Results obtained in this way are consistent with calculations based on Labour Force Survey data.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank T. Denton & Ross Finnie & Byron G. Spencer, 2009. "Patterns of Retirement as Reflected in Income Tax Records for Older Workers," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 257, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:257
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    File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/sedap/p/sedap257.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frank T. Denton & Byron G. Spencer, 2009. "Population Aging, Older Workers, and Canada's Labour Force," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 35(4), pages 481-492, December.
    2. M. Shannon & D. Grierson, 2004. "Mandatory retirement and older worker employment," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(3), pages 528-551, August.
    3. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1999. "Early Retirement Provisions and the Labor Force Behavior of Older Men: Evidence from Canada," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 724-756, October.
    4. Ronald Lee, 2003. "The Demographic Transition: Three Centuries of Fundamental Change," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 167-190, Fall.
    5. Sarah Tanner, 1998. "The dynamics of male retirement behaviour," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 19(2), pages 175-196, May.
    6. Emile Tompa, 1999. "Transitions to Retirement: Determinants of Age of Social Security Take Up," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 6, McMaster University.
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    Cited by:

    1. Frank T. Denton & Ross Finnie & Byron G. Spencer, 2009. "Income Replacement in Retirement: Longitudinal Evidence from Income Tax Records," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 261, McMaster University.
    2. Peter Hicks, 2012. "Later Retirement: the Win-Win Solution," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 345, March.
    3. Frank T. Denton & Ross Finnie & Byron G. Spencer, 2011. "The Age Pattern of Retirement: A Comparison of Cohort Measures," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 446, McMaster University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    retirement; older workers;

    JEL classification:

    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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