Wednesday, September 03, 2014



IWS Documented News Service


Institute for Workplace Studies-----------------Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor--------------------Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau


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European Commission





Results of the EU Labour force survey (LFS) ad hoc module on the transition from work to retirement

Data from Month July 2014. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database.

This article presents selected results from the EU Labour force survey (LFS) and its 2012 ad hoc module on the transition from work to retirement for the European Union (EU) and all its Member States, as well as for three EFTA countries. The data explain the transition from work to retirement, looking at types of pensions, the age at which people start receiving a pension, early retirement, persons who continue working after starting to receive a pension and the reasons for this, etc.


Main statistical findings

§  The transition from work to retirement takes place mostly between the ages of 50 and 69 and affects around 80 % of the population. The remaining 20 % do not go through this transition, or not in the same way, either because they were not employed in the first place and/or because they do not consider themselves ‘retired’.

§  In 2012, the employment rate for persons aged 50-69 was 48.8 % in the EU-28, lower than the rate for workers aged 25-49. Part-time work in this age segment increased, however, (to 21.8 % of the employed population) as older workers prepare to retire. From changes in the employment rates of older workers, it seems that men and women retire from employment at the same pace in most of the countries analysed, although there are differences between countries.

§  In 2012, 35.1 % of persons aged 50-69 in the EU-28 received a pension. Of these, 87.4 % received an old-age pension, i.e. a pension resulting from earning entitlements during working life. Other, less common types of pensions also exist.

§  Being retired (the self-reported status) and receiving an old-age pension are not the same thing, but in both cases the data used provide a consistent picture. Starting to receive an old-age pension is the main incentive for employed persons to stop working and consider themselves retired.

§  However, 15.9 % of EU-28 old-age pensioners continue working. Of these, 62.8 % continue working mainly for financial reasons, while 37.2 % do so mainly for non-financial reasons, e.g. job satisfaction.

§  Of those receiving an old-age pension, 43.1 % used an early retirement scheme. They retired an average of 1.9 years earlier than the normal retirement age.

All the data used in this article are based on the EU LFS. Data for the year 2012 are used because in that year the EU LFS had an additional set of variables, the ‘ad hoc module’, about retirement and pensions. (For more information on the LFS and the ad hoc module, please see the end of this article.)




This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.










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