IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Trends in Pension Eligibility Ages and Life Expectancy, 1950-2050


  • Rafal Chomik

    (Department of Work and Pensions)

  • Edward R. Whitehouse



The pensionable age is the most visible parameter of retirement-income systems. This paper surveys pensionable ages in the OECD for a period of a century: back to 1950 and forward to 2050. Average pensionable age in OECD countries dropped by nearly two years during the second half of the 20th century to 62.5 for men and 61.1 for women. Legislation already in place will increase it almost to 65 for both sexes by 2050. At the same time, life expectancy has increased in most countries at most times. Between 1960 and the turn of the century, life expectancy after pensionable age is grew from 13.4 to 17.3 years for men and 16.8 to 22.1 years for women on average in OECD countries. However, life expectancy after normal pension age is projected to reach 20.3 and 24.6 years (for men and women respectively) in 2050. This continued increase is projected despite many OECD countries having already legislated for phased increases in the pension age in the future. L'âge de la retraite est le paramètre le plus visible des systèmes de retraite. Ce document passe en revue les changements dans l'âge de la retraite des pays de l'OCDE sur une période d'environ un siècle: de 1950 jusqu'en 2050. La moyenne d'âge de la retraite dans les pays de l'OCDE a chuté de près de deux ans durant la seconde moitié du 20ème siècle s'établissant à 62,5 pour les hommes et 61,1 pour les femmes. En considérant la législation déjà en place, dans les pays de l'OCDE, pour les années à venir, il augmentera de nouveau, s'établissant à environ 65 pour les deux sexes d'ici à 2050. Dans le même temps, l'espérance de vie a augmenté dans la plupart des pays la plupart du temps. Entre 1960 et 2000, l'espérance de vie, après avoir atteint l'âge de départ à la retraite est passé de 13,4 à 17,3 ans pour les hommes et de 16,8 à 22,1 ans pour les femmes en moyenne dans les pays de l'OCDE. Cependant cette augmentation ne semble pas avoir pris fin: L'espérance de vie après l'âge normal de la retraite devrait atteindre 20,3 et 24,6 ans (pour les hommes et les femmes respectivement) en 2050. Cette augmentation continue est prévue dans de nombreux pays de l'OCDE nonobstant le fait que la plupart des ceux-ci aient déjà légiféré pour tenir compte de l'augmentation progressive de l'âge de retraite à l'avenir.

Suggested Citation

  • Rafal Chomik & Edward R. Whitehouse, 2010. "Trends in Pension Eligibility Ages and Life Expectancy, 1950-2050," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 105, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaab:105-en

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rafael Lalive & Jan Van Ours & Josef Zweimuller, 2006. "How Changes in Financial Incentives Affect the Duration of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 1009-1038.
    2. Stéphane Carcillo & David Grubb, 2006. "From Inactivity to Work: The Role of Active Labour Market Policies," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 36, OECD Publishing.
    3. Daniela Kalužná, 2009. "Main Features of the Public Employment Service in Poland," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 80, OECD Publishing.
    4. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "The Spike at Benefit Exhaustion: Leaving the Unemployment System or Starting a New Job?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 113-118, May.
    5. Cappellari, Lorenzo & Jenkins, Stephen P., 2008. "The Dynamics of Social Assistance Receipt: Measurement and Modelling Issues, with an Application to Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 3765, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Peter Tergeist & David Grubb, 2006. "Activation Strategies and the Performance of Employment Services in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 42, OECD Publishing.
    7. Jan Boone & Jan Ours, 2012. "Why is There a Spike in the Job Finding Rate at Benefit Exhaustion?," De Economist, Springer, vol. 160(4), pages 413-438, December.
    8. Katz, Lawrence F. & Meyer, Bruce D., 1990. "The impact of the potential duration of unemployment benefits on the duration of unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 45-72, February.
    9. Herwig Immervoll & Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Emmanuel Saez, 2007. "Welfare reform in European countries: a microsimulation analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 1-44, January.
    10. Midgley, James & Stewart, Kitty & Piachaud, David & Glennerster, Howard, 2008. "Welfare reform in the United States: implications for British social policy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6192, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    11. Virginia Hernanz & Franck Malherbet & Michele Pellizzari, 2004. "Take-Up of Welfare Benefits in OECD Countries: A Review of the Evidence," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 17, OECD Publishing.
    12. Knut Røed & Oddbjørn Raaum, 2006. "Do Labour Market Programmes Speed up the Return to Work?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 68(5), pages 541-568, October.
    13. Rebecca M. Blank, 2003. "U.S. Welfare Reform: What's Relevant for Europe?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 49(1), pages 49-74.
    14. Card, David & Levine, Phillip B., 2000. "Extended benefits and the duration of UI spells: evidence from the New Jersey extended benefit program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 107-138, October.
    15. Immervoll, Herwig & Pearson, Mark, 2009. "A Good Time for Making Work Pay? Taking Stock of In-Work Benefits and Related Measures across the OECD," IZA Policy Papers 3, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
    17. Hohmeyer, Katrin & Wolff, Joachim, 2007. "A fistful of Euros: Does One-Euro-Job participation lead means-tested benefit recipients into regular jobs and out of unemployment benefit II receipt?," IAB Discussion Paper 200732, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    18. Andrew Dyke & Carolyn J. Heinrich & Peter R. Mueser & Kenneth R. Troske & Kyung-Seong Jeon, 2006. "The Effects of Welfare-to-Work Program Activities on Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 567-608, July.
    19. Daniela Kalužná, 2008. "Main Features of the Public Employment Service in the Slovak Republic," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 72, OECD Publishing.
    20. Martin, John P. & Grubb, David, 2001. "What works and for whom: a review of OECD countries' experiences with active labour market policies," Working Paper Series 2001:14, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    21. Daniela Kalužná, 2008. "Main Features of the Public Employment Service in the Czech Republic," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 74, OECD Publishing.
    22. Knut Roed & Tao Zhang, 2003. "Does Unemployment Compensation Affect Unemployment Duration?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 190-206, January.
    23. David Card & Charles Michalopoulos & Philip K. Robins, 2001. "The Limits to Wage Growth: Measuring the Growth Rate of Wages For Recent Welfare Leavers," NBER Working Papers 8444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Bolvig, Iben & Jensen, Peter & Rosholm, Michael, 2001. "Effekter af aktiveringsindsatsen i Århus Kommune," CLS Working Papers 01-99, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research.
    25. Bolvig, Iben & Jensen, Peter & Rosholm, Michael, 2003. "The Employment Effects of Active Social Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 736, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    26. David Grubb & Shruti Singh & Peter Tergeist, 2009. "Activation Policies in Ireland," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 75, OECD Publishing.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Rafal Chomik & John Piggott, 2015. "Population Ageing and Social Security in Asia," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 10(2), pages 199-222, July.
    2. repec:eee:joecag:v:8:y:2016:i:c:p:67-75 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:elsaab:105-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.