Employment and earnings of older female workers

This project provides an assessment of the impact of the increase in the female state pension age (SPA) on the retirement behaviour of both those women directly affected by the reform and that of their partners. It also provides a valuable insight into what effect proposed future increases in the SPA for both men and women might have on labour market participation rates.

Key findings

The research uses data from the first two years since the female state pension age began to rise from age 60 in April 2010 to examine its impact on labour market outcomes. The findings show that, as a result of the one year increase in the female state pension age – from age 60 to 61 – that occurred between April 2010 and April 2012:

  • employment rates among 60 year old women have increased by 7.3 percentage points: in other words, in April 2012 there were 27,000 more women in work than there would otherwise have been;
  • employment rates among their husbands have increased by 4.2 percentage points: in other words, there were 8,300 more men in work than there would otherwise have been;
  • 1.3 percentage points more women aged 60 were unemployed: in other words, there were 5,000 more women aged 60 not in work but looking for work than there would otherwise be;
  • the UK’s public finances have been strengthened by around £2.1 billion.
Full findings

Full findings are published in an IFS working paper, “Incentives, shocks or signals: labour supply effects of increasing the female State Pension Age in the UK” by Jonathan Cribb, Carl Emmerson and Gemma Tetlow (link to IFS website).

Project details

 

Resarcher:

Carl Emmerson, Institute for Fiscal Studies

Funding Programme:

Open Door

Amount and duration:

£70,000

January 2012 - March 2014