Gender Differences in Retirement Age in Spain: Education and Working Trajectories

Pilar Zueras, Centre d''Estudis Demogràfics (CED)
Pau Miret-Gamundi, Centre d''Estudis Demogràfics (CED)
Antía Dominguez Rodríguez, Centre d''Estudis Demogràfics (CED)

Women retire later than men in Spain. This study aims at analysing gender differences in retirement timing in function of years of contribution and educational attainment. We hypothesise that a gender gap emerges as a result of different working trajectories between male and female. A gender gap is visible along the working biography especially among the studied cohorts, who have been retiring during the last decades. Although there are still differences in the share of labour market participation among men and women, the expansion of education and the softening of the gendered division of work have contributed to increasing female engagement in paid work across successive cohorts. In 2011 a reform of the Spanish Pension System gradually delayed the statutory pension age from 65 to 67 and increased the contribution period to access a complete pension from 35 to 38 years. We use survival analysis techniques to examine retirement timing by age, sex and year, and we compare, on the one hand, retirement timing in function of years of contribution and, on the other hand, of educational attainment. To do so, we use the Continuous Working Life Sample (MCVL in Spanish) -a 4% sample of the Spanish Social Security registers- to analyse the evolution of retirement of male and female between 2004 and 2016 by chronological age and by duration of formal labour careers (years contributed to the SS). Complementary, we use the ad-hoc modules for the Spanish Labour Force Survey (LFS) about the transition from work into retirement, carried out in 2006 and 2012, to analyse gender differences in age at retirement by educational attainment. Preliminary results show a reducing gender gap in retirement according to years contributed to the SS across time although differences in retirement timing persist, except among the highest educated men and women.

The entitlementto public pensions in Spain is conditioned to “legal age” and to a minimum of 15years of contributions to the Social Security (SS). In 2011 a reform increased necessaryyears of contribution to be entitled to retire with a complete pension, hamperingretirement among different sectors of the society (Cebrián & Moreno,2015a).

This study aimsat analysing gender differences in retirement timing in function of years ofcontribution and educational attainment. We hypothesise that a gender gapemerges as a result of different working trajectories between male and female.

A gender gap is visiblealong the working biographies especially among the observed cohorts, who havebeen retiring during the last decades. Spanish men have better jobs and wages thanwomen, who have been in more precarious and discontinuous working lives, whilemen benefited from gaining experience and time in their professions. Oldergenerations of women are characterized by short working lives and, therefore,less years contributing to the SS than men. Interruptions after marriage andchildbearing or to take care of dependent elders curtail their labourtrajectories (Cebrián & Moreno, 2015b; Zueras et al, 2017), make moredifficult for them to re-enter the labour market and, consequently, they accessworst jobs with lower salaries and part-time (Garrido, 1993; Miret & Vidal,2009), affecting the last years of their working lives and, thus, retirement.Although there is still a gender gap in labour market participation, theexpansion of education and the softening of the gendered division of work havecontributed to increasing female engagement in paid work across successive cohorts.

We use the ContinuousWorking Life Sample (MCVL in Spanish) -a 4% sample of registers from the SocialSecurity of Spain- to analyse the evolution of retirement of male and female between2004 and 2016 by age and by duration of formal labour careers (yearscontributed to the SS). Complementary, we use the ad-hoc modules for the SpanishLabour Force Survey (LFS) about the transition from work into retirement, carriedout in 2006 and 2012, to analyse gender differences in age at retirement byeducational level.

The sample will be thepopulation at risk to retire. In the case of the MCVL we consider at risk thosepeople who are 50 years or older and who have contributed to the SS for at least15 years (N=239839 in the period 2004-2014; 38% of them are female). The LFSmodules are passed only to those individuals aged 50 to 69 years old who areworking or who have worked after the age of 49; for this study we include thoserespondents who are unemployed even though their last job was before age 49 (N=16640in 2006 and N= 21521 in 2012; 38% and 45% of them are female, respectively).

We use survival analysistechniques to examine retirement timing by age, sex and year, and we compare,on the one hand, retirement timing according to years of contribution (MCVL)and, on the other hand, according to educational attainment (LFS Modules).

Despite adecrease of the gender gap in the age pattern across time, as long as youngergeneration of women enter at risk, preliminary results show that women retirelater than men. However, they retire with less years of contribution than men:while in 2014 75% of male retired with 38 years or more of contribution (acomplete pension), less than half women did so (Figure 1). The analysis age atretirement by education reveals that the gender gap disappears among the mosteducated people, which suggests similar working lives of men and women with a universitydegree (Figure 2).

Figure 1.Survival function by years of contribution to Social Security and gender, MCVL 2004and 2014.

Figure 2: Survival function by education and gender, LFS 2012.

 

Cebrián López, I. and MorenoRaymundo, G. (2015a). “Tiempo cotizado, ingresos salariales y sus consecuenciaspara las pensiones: diferencias por género al final de la vida laboral”.Cuadernos de Relaciones Laborales, 33: 2, 311-328

Cebrián López, I. and MorenoRaymundo, G. (2015b). “The Effects of Gender Differences in CareerInterruptions on the Gender Wage Gap in Spain”. Feminist Economics,21:4, 1-27.

Garrido, L. (1992). “Las dosbiografías de la mujer en España”. Ministerio de Asuntos Sociales, Instituto dela Mujer. 23. Madrid.

Miret, P. and E. Vidal (2009). “Evoluciónhistórica de la vida laboral en España de 1976 a 2006”. Envejecimiento,despoblación y territorio. L. López, A. Abellán and D. Godenau. León,Universidad de León: 227-238.

Zueras P, et al. “Evolución delperfil de los cuidadores de personas de 65 y más años con discapacidad en lapersistencia de un modelo de cuidado familiar”. Rev Esp Geriatr Gerontol. 2017.

 

Presented in Session 1151: Economics, Human Capital, and Labour Markets