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Impact of Retirement and Re-employment on the Life Satisfaction of Older Adults in Korea


Do Won Kwak and Jong-Wha Lee

Abstract: An aging workforce has adversely impacted the economy in Korea, amid growing fiscal challenges associated with providing pension and healthcare for older people. The increasing elderly population has raised concerns about the diminishing quality of life among seniors. This study explores the impact of retirement and re-employment on the life satisfaction of older individuals, utilizing longitudinal data from 2008 to 2020. To address endogeneity concerns, we use statutory eligibility ages for retirement pension benefits and the expected monetary value of these benefits as instrumental variables for retirement and re-employment status. Our findings suggest that retirement leads to a significant reduction in overall life satisfaction among older individuals. Conversely, life satisfaction improves significantly when retired individuals are re-employed. This study examines the dynamic effects of retirement on life satisfaction by employing the event study framework and investigating the reversal of retirement through re-employment. The findings emphasize that the life satisfaction of older individuals can be enhanced through policies that enable them to extend their employment or pursue new opportunities after retirement.

Keywords: aging, retirement, re-employment, life satisfaction, longitudinal study, pension


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