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Research Group: Ageing

In the study “Transitions and Old Age Potential” (TOP) , the research group examines the transition to retirement and old age potential of the 1942 to 1958 cohorts in Germany.

Life expectancy has risen almost continuously for the past 130 years and, since the second half of the 20th century, is due primarily to the decline in mortality among older people. In 2014, 65-year-olds could expect about seven more years of good health. These years gained are a prerequisite for “active ageing,” or the opportunity to independently take part in a variety of spheres of society and in family life until an advanced age.

There are still many questions left unanswered about gainful employment among older people, their involvement in volunteer activities and family. It is also not clear how such activities change in form and extent on the transition to retirement. The research group is contributing to answering these questions for the 1942 to 1958 cohorts in Germany with the study Transitions and Old Age Potential (TOP). We anticipate new stimuli from the results of TOP (wave 1: 2013, wave 2: 2015/16) both for research on retirement and ageing and for policy consulting aimed at prolonging working life.

Changes to the transition to and life in retirement are directly influenced by the development of mortality and its causes. Therefore, mortality research is another focus of the group. In the field of mortality analyses, the research group deals both with long-term trends in mortality and life expectancy and with regional differences with regard to causes of death.

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Additional Information


Dr. Andreas Mergenthaler

Phone: +49 611 75 2942
Fax: +49 611 75 3960

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