6. Konferenz für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsdaten - KSWD 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an academic or articstic eventConferencesResearch

Ulrike Fasbender - Speaker

The Role of Psychological Aging Experience in Post-retirement Employment

Due to the graying of global labor markets, post-retirement employment becomes increasingly important in the 21st century. It refers to paid work beyond retirement, including part-time jobs and self-employment (Eurofound, 2012). In order to better understand older people’s decisions to engage in post-retirement employment, the current study investigated the role of psychological ageing experience in post-retirement employment.
The psychological ageing experience is a multidimensional construct that refers to an individual’s different cognitions regarding his or her own ongoing aging process (Dittmann-Kohli, et al., 1997). Two dimensions that capture positive ageing experience (i.e., personal growth and gaining self-knowledge) and two dimensions that capture negative ageing experience (i.e., physical loss and social loss) were differentiated, and their relations to post-retirement employment were hypothesized. We argue that ageing experience may influence the decision to work after retirement via both an approach mechanism and an avoidance mechanism.
Longitudinal data from the German Ageing Survey (N = 551 pensioners aged 60 to 85 years in 2008) were used to test the hypotheses. The results of structural equation modeling indicated that retirees who experienced ageing as social loss and personal growth in 1996 were more likely to engage in post-retirement employment in 2008, while retirees who experienced ageing as gaining self-knowledge in 1996 were less likely to engage in post-retirement employment in 2008.
The results of the current study extend research on post-retirement employment. Theoretically, the study clearly distinguished four dimensions of ageing experience and showed their different effects on post-retirement employment. Practically, the findings can contribute to organizations’ work force planning. The results provide first evidence for
organizations, which of their older workers are more likely to continue to work after retirement. For individuals, post-retirement might be a useful way to fulfill needs for social contact. Further, post-retirement represents an important opportunity to maintain and further expand individuals’ knowledge and skills.
However, there are also limitations to this study. First, the sample was drawn from a German population only and therefore cannot be generalized internationally. Second, partly low reliabilities of the ageing experience dimensions might undermine the finding of potential effects. Third, the time intervals were too long to make conclusions about the retirement process. It will be intriguing to investigate the extent to which psychological ageing experience shapes the process of planning and engaging in post-retirement employment.
6. Konferenz für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsdaten - KSWD 2014


6. Konferenz für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsdaten - KSWD 2014 : Daten nutzen. Wissen schaffen.


Berlin, Germany

Event: Conference