Who does not Intend to Retire? Mothers' opportunity costs and compensation at later ages in Europe

Younga Kim, Université catholique de Louvain
Ester Rizzi, Université catholique de Louvain

Research on the association between women’s work-family trajectories and their retirement intentions is still limited. Studies on how different institutional conditions modify the association are even scarcer. Using the first 3 waves of Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, 2004-2009, we apply two-level random effects models with country-level fixed effects to a sample of 50-64 years old mothers. We find that two different mechanisms affect mothers’ retirement intentions: a) strategies to compensate for opportunity costs; b) work attachment. All other things being equal, mothers who interrupted careers and mostly worked part-time intend to work longer than others, indicating the need to compensate for lower lifelong earnings at later ages. Similarly, single, separated, divorced and widowed mothers wish to continue their work. Working continuity during the child-rearing delay retirement intentions, reflecting the work attachment. These results differ across welfare regimes, underlining the importance of family policies and pension benefits.

Presented in Session 117: Pensions and Intergenerational Transfers