Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



The trend to later retirements and increased work for pay during retirement have been explained by longer life expectancies, better health at older ages, and declining pension coverage. Retirement surveys show current workers continue to push back retirement plans and increasing numbers plan to work for pay in retirement. Yet the fraction or retirees working for pay is substantially lower, and the age of retirement notably younger, than suggested by surveys. This apparent conundrum can be explained by lack of demand for the services for older workers, and the fact that future retirees are likely to experience retirement very differently than the current older generation. Current workers should factor uncertainty about labor market outcomes into their retirement planning.


The published version of this Working Paper may be found in the 2016 publication: Reimagining Pensions.

Working Paper Number


Copyright/Permission Statement

All opinions, errors, 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. © 2014 Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Economics Commons



Date Posted: 26 June 2019