Does retirement bring about happiness and boost wellbeing? What guarantees a smooth transition into retirement and makes a happy retiree?
I am retired. As you go through life, age has an effect on your confidence.
– Public dialogue participant, Cardiff
Where you see the following symbols it indicates:
We can be confident that the evidence can be used to inform decisions.
We have moderate confidence. Decision makers may wish to incorporate further information to inform decisions.
We have low confidence. Decision makers may wish to incorporate further information to inform decisions.
Having some control over retirement matters
Wellbeing is lower for people who are involuntarily retired. It’s higher for those who have control over the timing or plan for their retirement.
Type of job is important
The job that a person had before they retire, as well as household factors, like their support network or spouse’s working
status, are key elements that influence the link between retirement and wellbeing.
A ‘bridging’ job
This can act as a buffer to protect wellbeing during the transition into retirement.
The link between retirement and wellbeing is complex. Wellbeing during retirement does depend upon levels of pension income and health, but control over the retirement decision is also key. Even after accounting for income and health, wellbeing is higher for those who have control over the timing or plan for their retirement, and voluntary retirees derive greater pleasure from free time in retirement. On the contrary, wellbeing is lower for those who are involuntarily retired, especially due to health reasons.
How can we turn this evidence into action?
Support workers’ control over retirement timing. This may include measures to support older workers with health problems who wish to stay longer in the labour market.
More support for pension saving (particularly for low earners), alongside better information about retirement planning.
Late career reviews, which encourage planning for retirement.
Support bridge jobs that support wellbeing during the transition into retirement.