426 - Social interactions and the retirement age

DNB Working Papers
Date 3 June 2014
In this study we gauge the impact of social interactions on individual retirement preferences. A survey including self-assessments and vignette questions shows that individual preferences are affected by preferences and actual retirement behavior of the social environment. Retirement from paid work depends on the retirement age of relatives, friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Information and advice provided by the social environment play a role in the retirement decision. A majority of respondents would postpone retirement when their social environment retires later. A one year increase in the social environment’s retirement age leads to an average increase of three months in the individual retirement age. In addition, people tend to stick more to the state pension age than to other retirement ages, which suggests a norm about retirement at the state pension age. 

Keywords: retirement decisions, social norms, sources of advice, state pension age.
JEL Codes: J26, J14, Z13.