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Session Overview
RN01_04a: Volunteering & post-retirement work
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Claudia Vogel, German Centre of Gerontology
Location: UP.3.204
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Third Floor Oxford Road

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Volunteering Among Older Persons With Low And High Levels Of Educational Attainment. Results From The German Survey On Volunteering 2014

Frank Micheel

Federal Institute for Population Research, Germany

Background: Quantitative studies have consistently demonstrated that education is the most important factor as volunteering in higher adulthood is concerned. Usually, these studies rely on comparisons between educational levels. However, thorough knowledge of variations within specific education groups is scarce. This presentation discusses which factors support volunteer activities among older persons with low education in Germany and how these factors differ from highly educated persons.

Data and methods: Empirical analyses are based on the 4th wave of the German Survey on Volunteering from 2014. The analytic samples contain low and highly educated people (ISCED 0-2 and 5-6) aged 50 years or older (N = 946 and N = 7,094). Multivariate analyses are separately carried out for both educational levels examining the impact of socio-demographics, resources, individual values and social aspects on volunteering. The model selection process is based on the theoretical grounds of Einolf & Chambré (2011).

Results: Analyses reveal in both groups the following statistically significant associations with volunteering: lower age, the German citizenship, living in Western Germany, absence from health restrictions, strong religiosity, social coherence at respondents’ place of residence, and a good social network. Perceived self-efficacy has among low educated persons a positive, among highly educated a negative impact.

Conclusions: Different implications from these findings can be drawn to improve access of low educated people to volunteering including structural improvements in the areas of healthcare provision, in Eastern Germany, as well as urban and social planning. On the individual level, improving perceived self-efficacy is a promising approach.

Patterns of Productivity in the Early Years of Retirement: Individual and Societal Determinants in Europe

Andreas Mergenthaler

Federal Institute for Population Research, Germany

Productive ageing is discussed as an approach to tackle the consequences of population ageing. Empirical evidence suggests different patterns of productive activities among older adults. Therefore, this presentation aims at multiple productive activities (paid employment, formal and informal volunteering, education and training, grandchild caring and familial caregiving) among retirees aged 60 to 75 years in 17 European countries using the sixth wave of “Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement” (SHARE, N=24,268). With reference to role theory (role extension versus role substitution) and disengagement approach, eight patterns of productive activities are identified with the disengagers as the largest group (37 %). One third of the sample was engaged in a single formal or informal activity (role substitution). Role extension could be observed in 10 % of the respondents which were combining paid employment with one or more informal activity and 14 % which reported multiple informal activities. Multilevel logistic regressions were carried out to identify individual, economic and societal determinants of selected patterns of productive activities. Socioeconomic gradients are identified at the micro-level: the higher the formal education and aggregated individual income of the household, the more likely is engagement in one or more productive activities. Moreover, disengagement shows a negative association with health ratio and political rights and civil liberties as well as a positive relation with the Gini coefficient for European countries (macro-level). Thus, the results point at the importance of social inequality and health on the individuals as well as the societal level for productive ageing in Europe.

The Motivation Not-to-work – Exploring Work-related Attitudes Of Older Workers That Have Exited Employment

Marc Andrè Kellert

Universität Duisburg-Essen, Germany

Beyond mere structural characteristics (such as age, gender, health or educational attainment), the individual motivation to work represents one of the key determinants of older workers employment and retirement decisions. Traditionally, the focus in empirical analyses on this topic is on those within employment and their principle readiness to continue working. This paper extends the focus to those outside paid employment and their willingness to return to employment respectively its reasoning. This largely under-researched group is of particular importance, not only from a scientific perspective, but also from a public policy angle, as raising the employment among the older age groups may not only rely on promoting continued employment among those in the labour market, but also on potentially re-activating those that have left the labour market prematurely.

Against this background, this paper uses data from the German TOP study (“Transitions and Old Age Potential”), gathered in 2013, to investigate those individuals that have left active employment before reaching mandatory retirement age. In a first step, it reconstructs whether these individuals would potentially consider a return to employment. In a second step, it investigates either (i) which reasons discourage older inactive people to consider such a return or (ii) for those that are potentially willing to return, which conditions they would like to see fulfilled. For both analytical questions, we do not restrict ourselves to a mere description, but also investigate how the respective patterns differ across social groups (e.g. with regard to age, gender, educational attainment or financial status). The paper closes with a critical reflection on political options and limitations to re-engage older employees in the labour market.

Employment in Old-Age Retirement and Life Satisfaction

Anu Polvinen, Susan Kuivalainen

Finnish Centre for Pensions, Finland

In recent years, post-retirement employment has increased in many countries. The effects of this employment are less studied. Does post-retirement employment bring life satisfaction benefits? In this study, we look at how life satisfaction is associated with working as an employee, an entrepreneur or a volunteer while drawing an old-age pension.

The data is based on a survey conducted in 2017, combined with register data of the Finnish Centre for Pensions. It includes 1,503 old-age pensioners aged 63–74. About 13 per cent of them were working as employees or entrepreneurs and 20 per cent as volunteers while drawing an old-age pension. Life satisfaction was measured through a subjective assessment of the general satisfaction with life on a scale from 0 to 10. The association of life satisfaction with employment was analysed using regression models.

The preliminary results show that old-age pensioners who were working had a higher life satisfaction than did the non-working pensioners of the same age. The odds ratio for a high life satisfaction was 2.0 among old-age pensioner who were working as employees or entrepreneurs and 1.6 among volunteers compared to those who were not working. Health, education and pension income were associated with life satisfaction. After controlling these factors, the differences in life satisfaction declined between working and non-working old-age pensioners. The results suggest that a selected group of old-age pensioners - those with a higher life satisfaction owing to better health, a higher income and a higher education - continue working after retirement.

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