Journal Article

Retirement in the UK

James Banks and Sarah Smith

in Oxford Review of Economic Policy

Published on behalf of The Oxford Review of Economic Policy Ltd

Volume 22, issue 1, pages 40-56
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 0266-903X
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1460-2121 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxrep/grj003
Retirement in the UK

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  • Economic Development and Growth
  • Public Economics
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In common with other OECD countries, the UK experienced more than two decades of declining labour-market activity among older men from the 1970s to the early 1990s, a trend that has only recently shown signs of being reversed. Retirement decisions are heavily shaped by institutional context and in the UK this has led to there being two distinct groups with very different ‘retirement’ experiences. At the top of the wealth distribution, early retirement has typically been influenced by private, occupational pensions; at the bottom of the wealth distribution individuals are even more likely to be not working in their 50s, but do not typically define themselves as retired, and draw on income support, or more usually, disability benefits. Policy-makers keen to increase effective retirement ages will need to consider the very different circumstances of these two groups.

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Subjects: Economic Development and Growth ; Public Economics ; Political Economy ; Public Policy

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