Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Research on making it easier for people to work longer has tended to focus on economic security. This paper links working longer to health and longevity. Purely age-based retirement policies have led to complications and unintended consequences including insufficient retirement resources, possible depletion of social security, and flawed perceptions of older workers. By working longer, older adults are better able to support themselves, remain healthier, and live longer. New data show that, when employed, older adults are as much as four times more socially engaged, offsetting deepening concerns worldwide about the adverse effects of loneliness, particularly on older populations. The very definition of retirement should be reconsidered in light of increasing data suggesting that traditional retirement can be detrimental to financial, mental and physical health.


The published version of this working paper may be found in the 2022 publication: New Models for Managing Longevity Risk: Public-Private Partnerships.


Longevity, older workers, employment, social engagement, healthcare, health, retirement income

Working Paper Number


Copyright/Permission Statement

All findings, interpretations, and conclusions of this paper represent the views of the authors and not those of the Wharton School or the Pension Research Council. © 2020 Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.

Included in

Economics Commons



Date Posted: 08 July 2020