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Work & Retirement

The Work and Retirement theme group takes the transition from work to retirement as the central research focus. In light of the demographic development of population ageing, government policies aim to raise the labour force participation of older adults and promote active ageing. The current changes in the retirement landscape raise new questions on retirement and its precursors and consequences.

Our research has an interdisciplinary focus integrating insights from labour economics, sociology, and psychology and applies a life course perspective to study the causes and consequences of work to retirement transitions. Within our research approach, it is explicitly recognized that the retirement transition is not a one-time event, but covers a broader period of time. We study several aspects of this process including individual preparation towards the retirement event, the actual retirement behaviour, and the adjustment to life without the dominance of paid work. To be able to follow individual trajectories over time, we make use of longitudinal data collected among employees and their partners (multi-actor).

Moreover, we study how employers think about, and behave towards older workers in the context of an ageing labour force and the prospect of extending the working life. Finally, we examine how decision making in the pension domain can be affected by the institutional setting, in particular how trust in pension providers or in government affects choices and more generally whether people want to save on an individual or collective basis in an aging society.

The theme group collaborates with researchers from UMCG Groningen, University of Amsterdam, University of Utrecht, and TNO-Leiden.


Main project:

Other and related projects:

Concluded projects:


Recent publications

(for all output see personal pages of the research team members)

Oude Mulders, J., Henkens, K. & Dalen, H.P. van (2020),
How do employers respond to an aging workforce? Evidence from surveys among employers, 2009-2017. In: Czaja, S., Sharit, J. & James, J. (Eds.), Current and emerging trends in aging and work. Cham: Springer, p. 281-296. [URL]
Dingemans, E.A.A. & Henkens, K. (2019),
Job strain in working retirees in Europe: a latent class analysis. Ageing & Society. [URL]
Dingemans, E.A.A. & Henkens, K. (2019),
Working after retirement and life satisfaction: Cross-national comparative research in Europe. Research on Aging 41: 1-22. [URL]
Dingemans, E.A.A. & Möhring, K. (2019),
A life course perspective on working after retirement: What role does the work history play? Advances in Life Course Research. [URL]
Eismann, M., Henkens, K. & Kalmijn, M. (2019),
Origins and mechanisms of social influences in couples: The case of retirement decisions. European Sociological Review: jcz037. [URL]
Eismann, M., Henkens, K. & Kalmijn, M. (2019),
Why singles prefer to retire later. Research on Aging 41 (10): 936-960. [URL]
Eismann, M, Verbeij, T & Henkens, (2019),
Older workers’ plans for activities in retirement: The role of opportunities, spousal support, and time perception. Psychology and Aging. [URL]
Oude Mulders, J. (2019),
Attitudes about working beyond normal retirement age: The role of mandatory retirement. Journal of Aging & Social Policy 31 (2): 106-122. [URL]
Oude Mulders, J. & Henkens, K. (2019),
Employers’ adjustment to longer working lives. Innovation in Aging 3 (1): 1-10. [URL]
Turek, K. & Henkens, K. (2019),
How skill requirements affect the likelihood of recruitment of older workers in Poland: The indirect role of age stereotypes. Work, Employment and Society. [URL]
Vanajan, A., Bültmann, U. & Henkens, K. (2019),
Health-related work limitations among older workers - the role of flexible work arrangements and organizational climate. The Gerontologist. [URL]
Bogaard, L.B.D. van den & Henkens, K. (2018),
When is quitting an escape? How different job demands affect physical and mental health outcomes of retirement. European Journal of Public Health. [URL]
Dalen, H.P. van & Henkens, K. (2018),
Do people really want freedom of choice? Assessing preferences of pension holders. Social Policy & Administration 52 (7): 1379-1395. [URL]
Dalen, H.P. van & Henkens, K. (2018),
The making and breaking of trust in pension providers. Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance. [URL]
Dalen, H.P. van & Henkens, K. (2018),
Vervroegd pensioen is kwestie van noodzaak of fortuin. Economisch Statistische Berichten, 103 (4767): 510-513. [URL]
Dalen, H.P. van & Henkens, K. (2018),
Werkgevers hebben veel vertrouwen in hun pensioenuitvoerder. Me Judice, 12 september 2018. [URL]
Dalen, H.P. van & Henkens, K. (2018),
Werkgever is positiever geworden over productiviteit oudere werknemer. Economisch Statistische Berichten 103 (4759): 139-141. [URL]
Dalen, H.P. van & Henkens, K. (2018),
Why demotion of older workers is a no-go area for managers. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 29 (15); 2303-2329. [URL]
Damman, M. & Henkens, K. (2018),
Gender differences in perceived workplace flexibility among older workers in the Netherlands: A brief report. Journal of Applied Gerontology. [URL]
Damman, M., Segel-Karpas, D. & Henkens, K. (2018),
Partners’ adjustment to older workers’ retirement: testing the role of preretirement expectations in a 10-year panel study. Aging & Mental Health. [URL]
Oude Mulders, J. (2018),
Verhoging pensioenleeftijd in internationaal perspectief. Demos: bulletin over bevolking en samenleving 34 (2): 8. [URL]
Oude Mulders, J., Henkens, K. & Dalen, H.P. van (2018),
Werkgevers bezorgd over langer doorwerken. Demos: bulletin over bevolking en samenleving 34 (1): 1-4. [URL]
Oude Mulders, J., Henkens, K., Liu, Y., Schippers, J. & Wang, M. (2018),
Managers’ interview invitation decisions about older job applicants: Human capital, economic conditions and job demands. Ageing & Society 38 (4): 839-864. [URL]
Solinge, H. van & Henkens, K. (2018),
Subjective life expectancy and actual mortality: Results of a 10-year panel study among older workers. European Journal of Ageing 15 (2): 155-164. [URL]
Beer, J.A.A. de, Dalen, H.P. van & Henkens, K. (2017),
Pas op: je leeft langer dan je denkt! Demos: bulletin over bevolking en samenleving 33 (5): 5-7. [URL]
Beer, J.A.A. de, Dalen, H.P. van & Henkens, K. (2017),
Stijgt de AOW-leeftijd niet te hard? Me Judice, 11 maart 2017. [URL]
Beer, J.A.A. de, Dalen, H.P. van & Henkens, K. (2017),
Wanneer voelt de verhoging van de AOW-leeftijd als diefstal? Me Judice, 27 februari 2017. [URL]
Bogaard, L.B.D. van den (2017),
Leaving quietly? A quantitative study of retirement rituals and how they affect life satisfaction. Work, Aging and Retirement, 3 (1), pp. 55-65. [URL]
Dalen, H.P. van (2017),
AOW-ers in de aanvullende bijstand. Demos: bulletin over bevolking en samenleving 33 (3): 6-7. [URL]
Dalen, H.P. van & Henkens, K. (2017),
Do stereotypes about older workers change? Evidence from a panel study among employers. CentER Discussion Paper No. 2017-028. Tilburg: Center for Economic Research. [URL]
Dalen, H.P. van, Henkens, K. & Oude Mulders, J. (2017),
Werkgevers willen flexibele AOW voor hun werknemers. Me Judice, 9 oktober 2017. [URL]
Damman, M. (2017),
Oudere zzp’ers: een diverse groep. Geron: Tijdschrift over ouder worden & samenleving 19 (4): 28-31. [URL]
Damman, M. (2017),
Vrijwilligerswerk naast de betaalde baan [Gerongrafiek]. Geron: Tijdschrift over ouder worden & samenleving 19 (4): 24. [URL]
Damman, M. & Duijn, R. van (2017),
Intergenerational support in the transition from work to retirement. Work, Aging and Retirement 3 (1): 66-76. [URL]
Damman, M. & Henkens, K. (2017),
Constrained agency in later working lives: Introduction to the special issue. Work, Aging and Retirement 3 (3): 225-230. [URL]
Damman, M. & Solinge, H. van (2017),
Staan onbetaalde zorgtaken langer doorwerken in de weg? Tijdschrift voor HRM (6): 1-18. [URL]
Dingemans, E. van & Henkens, K. (2017),
Life satisfaction of working retirees in Europe. Netspar Discussion Paper DP 07/2017-028. Tilburg: Netspar. [URL]
Eismann, M. (2017),
Samen met pensioen? Pensioen Bestuur & Management 14 (4): 8-9. [URL]
Eismann, M. & Henkens, K. (2017),
Gleichzeitig in Rente? Soziologie heute (56): 10-13. [URL]
Eismann, M. & Henkens, K. (2017),
Tegelijk met pensioen? Demos: bulletin over bevolking en samenleving 33 (7): 1-4. [URL]
Eismann, M., Henkens, K. & Kalmijn, M. (2017),
Spousal preferences for joint retirement: Evidence from a multiactor survey among older dual-earner couples. Psychology and Aging 32 (8): 689-697. [URL]
Henkens, K., Dalen, H.P. van, Ekerdt, D.J., Hershey, D.A., Hyde, M., Radl, J., Solinge, H. van, Wang, M. & Zacher, H. (2017),
What we need to know about retirement: Pressing issues for the coming decade. The Gerontologist. [URL]
Hyde, M. & Dingemans, E. (2017),
Hidden in plain sight? Does stricter employment protection legislation lead to an increased risk of hidden unemployment in later life? Work, Aging and Retirement 3 (3): 231-242. [URL]
Oude Mulders, J., Dalen, H.P. van & Henkens, K. (2017),
Gaat doorwerken na AOW echt werken? Het oordeel van werkgevers. Me Judice, 18 januari 2017. [URL]
Petricheva, V. & Damman, M. (2017),
Hoe actief zijn oudere werkenden als vrijwilliger, mantelzorger en kinderoppas? Demos: bulletin over bevolking en samenleving 33 (8): 5-7. [URL]
Solinge, H. van & Henkens, K. (2017),
Older workers’ emotional reactions to rising retirement age: The case of the Netherlands. Work, Aging and Retirement 3 (3): 273-283. [URL]
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