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Fun at Work Is the Most Important Reason for Working in Retirement

Chart of the Month – March 2017

If pensioners carry out gainful employment they usually do so because they enjoy working (26%) or to continue earning money (19%). Other reasons for gainful activity of retired people are the feeling of being needed (15%) and contact with other people (13%). This is the result of a current study on life situations and plans of elderly people published by the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) in Wiesbaden. For this purpose, interviews were conducted among 2,500 people aged between 58 and 73 years.

The distinction among the respondents according to educational qualifications has shown a differentiated image. Thus, in addition to fun at work (25%) the feeling of being needed (17%) matters first of all to people with a high level of education. On the other hand, the financial aspect is not quite that important to 13% of the respondents. Nevertheless, one in ten wants to pass on knowledge and experience with his work.

Fun at work (27%) is also the crucial motivation for gainful employment among retirees with little education though the aspect of earning money is much stronger for them. Thus, one in four respondents with little education states that supplementary income is the main reason for paid work in retirement. “Since people with lower formal education levels mostly receive smaller retirement pensions they work more frequently due to financial implications than higher educated people”, Dr. Andreas Mergenthaler (BiB) explains. However, this does not allow the general conclusion that financial problems are behind this purpose.

The picture shows a bar chart which illustrates the main reasons for working in retirement in Germany according to educational level. Main Reason for Gainful Employment in Retirement

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© Federal Institute for Population Research - 2017