October 2009

IZA DP No. 4505: How Sensitive Are Retirement Decisions to Financial Incentives: A Stated Preference Analysis

We study effects of financial incentives on the retirement age using stated preference data. Dutch survey respondents were given hypothetical retirement scenarios describing age(s) of (partial and full) retirement and replacement rate(s). A structural model is estimated in which utility is the discounted sum of within period utilities that depend on employment status and income. Parameters of the utility function vary with observed and unobserved characteristics. Simulations show that the income and substitution effects of pensions as a function of the retirement age are substantial and larger than according to studies using data on actual retirement decisions.