Encouraging people to retire early can mean a longer life.
A study by the Tinbergen Institute at VU University Amsterdam found that retiring early reduced a man’s risk of dying within five years by 42.3 percent.
The study looked at a policy change that went into effect in the Netherlands in 2004, where certain age groups of civil servants were offered the opportunity to retire as early as age 55. The standard retirement age in the Netherlands is 65, but the actual average age of retirement has been considerably lower because of the widespread use of early retirement arrangements in virtually all sectors of the economy.
The Dutch pension system rests on three pillars: a public old-age pension, which is financed on a pay-as-you-go basis; occupational pensions and private provisions.
In 2005, most occupational pension funds offered early retirement arrangements while the public-sector pension fund offered arrangements for early retirement from age 61 onward. When the rules changed in 2004, individuals who were at least 55 and employed as a civil servant for at least 10 years were eligible for early retirement benefits.
The report’s authors used a temporary decrease in the early retirement age for civil servants to estimate the impact of early retirement on the probability of dying within five years.