Will the Average Retirement Age Continue to Increase?

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Using Health and Retirement Study (HRS) data, this paper examines how changes in individual workers’ past and present pension coverage, retirement incentives in Social Security, and retiree health insurance have contributed to retirement decisions for the 1931-1953 birth cohorts. It then uses these findings to project retirement behavior for the 1955-1987 cohorts in the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). A key assumption is that younger cohorts will have no defined benefit (DB) pensions or retiree health coverage in their future jobs. A key limitation is the assumption of a stable relationship in each successive cohort between each factor and labor market decisions.