Health Effects of Extending State Pension Age for UK Women

Mauricio Avendano, King's College London
Ludovico Carrino, King's College London
Karen Glaser, King's College London

Prior studies have examined the impact of retirement on health, but there is no consensus as to whether longer working lives lead to better health. We investigate the impact of a recent pension reform which, since 2010, gradually extended the age of eligibility for the State Pension for women in the UK, from 60 to 66 years. Using a difference-in-differences approach on 8400 observations of women aged 60-64 participating in the Understanding Society study from 2009 to 2015, we find strong evidence that increasing the State Pension Age led to a statistically and clinically significant negative effect on mental and physical health. We also find evidence that women with a longer extension in the State Pension Age experienced worse health outcomes. We show that this effect is driven by women from routine-manual occupations and led to increasing health inequalities between occupational groups.

Presented in Session 117: Pensions and Intergenerational Transfers