The Impact of Socioeconomic Characteristics on Older Employees’ Willingness to Continue Working in Retirement Age

Frank Micheel, Juliane Roloff, Ines Wickenheiser


This article explores whether and to what degree information on the socioeconomic status – measured by professional status and disposable household income – allows making reliable statements on the willingness to remain in work in retirement age. These observations are controlled for professional and individual characteristics. The data basis is constituted by the study entitled “Continuing in employment in pensionable age” with N = 1,500 dependent employees aged from 55 to under 65. Logistic regressions show that the socioeconomic status makes a statistically-significant contribution towards explaining the willingness to continue in employment: In comparison to employees with a lower or medium professional status, those individuals who have a high professional status tended to be significantly more willing to remain in working life for longer. There is a negative connection between the disposable household income and the willingness to remain in employment in retirement age. The significant effects that were found are however restricted to the women in the study.


Demographic ageing; Retirement age; Labour market; Extended working life; Socioeconomic status; Role theory; Continuity theory; Life course perspective

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