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Occupational social class differences in the impact of COVID-19 related employment disruptions on retirement planning amongst older workers in England

Tatiana Rowson (Henley Business School, University of Reading, Reading, UK)
Vanessa Beck (School of Management, Faculty of Social Sciences and Law, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK)
Martin Hyde (School of Health and Social Care, Swansea University, Swansea, UK)
Elizabeth Evans (School of Health and Social Care, Swansea University, Swansea, UK)

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults

ISSN: 1471-7794

Article publication date: 2 November 2022

Issue publication date: 30 November 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the impact of COVID-19 related employment disruption on individuals’ retirement planning and whether these experiences differ by occupational social class.

Design/methodology/approach

To explore these issues, this study linked data from those who were employed in wave 9 of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) main study with wave 1 of the ELSA COVID-19 study (N = 1,797). Multinominal regression analyses were conducted to explore whether the interaction between employment disruption and occupational social class was associated with planning to retire earlier or later than previously planned.

Findings

The results show that stopping work because of COVID-19 is associated with planning to retire earlier. However, there were no statistically significant interactions between occupational social class and employment disruptions on whether respondents planned to retire earlier or later.

Originality/value

This paper’s original contribution is in showing that the pandemic has had an impact on retirement decisions. Given the known negative effects of both involuntary early labour market exit, the findings suggest that the COVID-19 related employment disruptions are likely to exacerbate social inequalities in health, well-being in later life and, consequently, can help anticipate where there will be need for additional support in later life.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors of this article are grateful to the editor and anonymous referees for their feedback and constructive comments on earlier versions of this paper.

Citation

Rowson, T., Beck, V., Hyde, M. and Evans, E. (2022), "Occupational social class differences in the impact of COVID-19 related employment disruptions on retirement planning amongst older workers in England", Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 174-184. https://doi.org/10.1108/QAOA-02-2022-0013

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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