Stung by Pension Reforms: The Impact of a Change in State Pension Age on Women and their Partners

In many developed countries, pension systems are being reformed by increasing the age eligibility to receive the state pension and by reducing its generosity. The aim of these reforms has been to improve the financial sustainability of the system by encouraging people to work at older ages. However, these reforms also tend to have negative effects on wellbeing and to increase in inequality based for example on level of education and on family structure.

Our research focuses on the effect that the increase in the UK state pension age had on women born in the 1950s.  We found that the increase in the state pension age had the desired effect of keeping more women in the labour market (either employed, self-employed or seeking work), but also had negative effects on their mental health and on other aspects of wellbeing.  The reform had a more negative impact on more vulnerable women, for example, it had a larger negative impact on mental and financial wellbeing of women without a degree (compared to women with a degree), and of women without (compared to women with) a partner.

Della Giusta, M., Longhi S. (2021) Stung by Pension Reforms: The Unequal Impact of Changes in State Pension Age on UK Women and their Partners, Labour Economics72:102049.