Over the past decades, combining pension benefits with work income has been made more accessible for pensioners in many European countries. The literature on working pensioners choosing a flexible transition into retirement is to date relatively sparse. This article adds to the few cross-country studies and explicitly investigates the role of pension systems in facilitating or hampering flexible retirement. By using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), this paper studies the within-country variation by analyzing variable sets, which influence whether individuals choose to combine pension income with work income at the end of their working career. The results suggest that demographic variables as well as health variables, economic variables and the pension system may be important factors. To investigate the cross-country variation, I apply counterfactual simulations. The counterfactual simulations indicate that economic differences and differences in pension systems may be responsible for the variation in working pensioner proportions between countries.
The investigation has been published as part of the author's dissertation and as a MEA Discussion Paper in 2020. For a revision of the paper, the analysis will be refined and prepared for journal publication.