Does Working in Retirement Improve Subjective Well-being? Lessons From Russia

Katherine Keenan
Sarah Ashwin, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Irina Kozina, National Research University Higher School of Economics

Rising post-retirement employment is one symptom of the deinstitutionalization of retirement across the industrialized world. We examine the implications for subjective wellbeing using mixed methods on data from Russia, where more than half of pensioners have experienced post-retirement employment. We use panel data on 4,847 individuals aged 45-70 years from twelve waves of the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (2003-2015) to estimate individual fixed-effects models for life satisfaction, according to pension receipt and work transitions, adjusting for other time-varying factors. We employ our qualitative data – five waves of in-depth interviews with 38 respondents (1999-2010) – to explore the mechanisms behind our models. We found that, controlling for income changes, continued employment after receiving a pension resulted in higher wellbeing than retirement. Surprisingly, the wellbeing gain from post-retirement employment did not differ by gender or between the highest and lowest occupational groups. We theorize our findings using our qualitative data.

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 Presented in Session 222. Trends, Determinants, and Consequences of the Length of Working Life