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Research Details

(UM01-04) - Early Retirement Windows
Charles Brown

An early retirement window is an offer, by an employer, of a special incentive to retire at a particular time, beyond that provided by the firm's pension plan. While such windows have attracted increasing attention in the academic literature and the business press, most of our current knowledge about them is based on case studies or compensation consultants' surveys of their clients. The Health and Retirement Study provides an opportunity to analyze the incidence and consequences of such offers among a representative sample of workers who are in the age range (51-61 in 1992) where such windows may be important. HRS data suggest that window offers increased in the early 1990s. At their peak in the mid- 1990s, employers were making about 5 offers per 100 workers age 55-59. One third of the offers were accepted. The economic impact of window offers depends on the extent to which those who accept such offers would have left the employer soon anyway, and those who are induced to leave one employer go to work elsewhere. But multiplying the frequency of such offers by the acceptance rate suggests a substantial potential impact on the employment of workers in the HRS age range. Window offers are generally made to workers in



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