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Early Retirement Provision for Elderly Displaced Workers

Kruse, Herman and Myhre, Andreas (2021): Early Retirement Provision for Elderly Displaced Workers.

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Abstract

This paper studies the economic effects on re-employment and program substitution behavior among elderly displaced workers who exogenously lose eligibility for their early retirement option. We use detailed Norwegian matched employer-employee data containing information on bankruptcy dates and individual-level wealth, income, pensions and social security benefits. Our empirical strategy employs a regression discontinuity design, as job displacement before a certain age cut-off results in losing eligibility for early retirement benefits between ages 62–67 years in Norway. We find that reemployment rates are indistinguishable between workers who just retain eligibility for early retirement benefits and those who just do not. Meanwhile, those who lose eligibility offset 69% of their lost benefits through take-up of other social security benefits, where 51% comes from disability insurance and 13% from unemployment insurance. Our findings are particularly policy relevant as tightening of age-limits for old-age pensions is on the agenda in several OECD countries, while current economic hardship throughout the region may lead to increased job displacement for elderly workers.

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