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On how the nature of early retirement is related to post-retirement life conditions from a citizenship perspective

  • Per H. Jensen (a1), Kristian Kongshøj (a1) and Wouter de Tavernier (a1)


The aim of this paper is to analyse how the nature of retirement is related to post-retirement life conditions among early retirees. As to the nature of retirement, we make use of the concepts of push, pull and jump to describe why individuals retire early. Push is analysed as an outcome of poor health and firings, pull as a mechanical (reflective) response to economic and symbolic signals of the welfare state, while jump is described as a reflexive process; jumpers strive for new experiences (a new life project) and/or social gains (to be more together with grandchildren). Post-retirement life conditions are analysed in a four-dimensional citizenship perspective: (a) economic, (b) social and (c) political citizenship, as well as the feeling of having (d) ‘equal social worth’ vis-à-vis fellow citizens. Results show that role transitions are strongly affected by the nature of retirement. Jumpers largely seem to be shielded from low levels of citizenship in old age. Those pushed out of the labour market indeed run a rather high risk of lacking citizenship, epitomised as loss of economic and social citizenship as well as a low sense of having equal social worth vis-á-vis fellow citizens. No conclusive results were found for older workers subject to pull. Pullers made up a rather small proportion of total sample.


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