Occupational tasks, work-related strain and the effect of pension reforms on retirement

In the context of demographic change, the public pension system faces major challenges. Pension reforms, such as raising the legal retirement age, are intended to secure the financial stability of the pension system. However, individual, occupational, company and societal factors can influence the effects of pension reforms on retirement and employment status. They are thus crucial in determining whether or not the reforms achieve their intended effects.

This project focuses on the relationship between pension reforms and strain- or task-related factors. Employees with high work-related risks, for instance, may be less likely than others to work until the new retirement age after the retirement age is raised. Also, employees in occupations that are subject to significant change may not be able to extend their working life because their skills are outdated. Instead, they may have to bridge the period between employment and retirement by drawing transfer benefits or in some other way.

The research project combines two strands of literature: the identification of causal effects of pension reforms, on the one hand, and the influence of work-related stress and occupational activities on the transition to retirement, on the other. For this purpose, trajectories in later working life are analyzed. First, the effects of changes in the pension regulations on the labor force status of the individuals are estimated. Second, these estimates are differentiated according to previous occupational activities and work-related risks or job strain.

The project is meant to contribute to the important social policy question of how different groups of individuals are affected by pension reforms. More generally, it aims to identify social policy needs and to gain empirical results for the future discussion on the design of the pension system.

Commissioned by:

  • Deutsche Rentenversicherung/Forschungs­netzwerk Alterssicherung

Project team:

Contact Person:
Dr. Natalie Herdegen ( +49 7071 9896 19 // E-Mail )