Changes Across Cohorts in the UK in the Relationship Between Employment and Family Experiences and Working until or Beyond State Pension Age

10 July 2016

Our study examines how the relationship between employment and family experiences and working until or beyond state pension age (SPA) has changed for different cohorts in the United Kingdom (that is, for respondents aged 55-69 at baseline born 1919-1933 in the UK Retirement Survey; 1922-1936 in British Household Panel Study; and 1933-1947 in English Longitudinal Study of Ageing). This is a critical issue as the UK, in common with many other governments across the world, is rapidly extending the working lives of older adults through the postponement of SPA and other measures. In particular, given shifting norms and expectations about men’s and women’s working lives and changing policies on SPA, future policy development will be aided by understanding how these relationships have changed across time and cohorts. To date, while we know that later-born cohorts are more likely to be in paid work in their 50s and early 60s in comparison to earlier cohorts, we do not know how these changes are associated with employment and family histories, health or socio-economic circumstances. Understanding the antecedents and consequences of change over time is essential if we are to use current patterns to suggest what might happen in future. It is also critical to the development of policy that minimises how inequalities may be perpetuated through the lifecourse.