Influencing factors of postretirement work : in-depth analysis of the Chilean case

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The unprecedented population ageing has had an impact on different settings in the societies across the globe, particularly on the health care and social protection of the elderly, pension reserve funds, and labour market trends. As a result, many governments have been advocating for active ageing by encouraging older adults to remain economically active even after reaching the legal retirement age. Thus, several contemporary scholars in social gerontology have argued that there is an urgent need for new research to focus on postretirement work-related concerns (Phillipson, 2018; Taylor et al., 2016). While this topic has already been addressed in many developed countries, especially in Europe, it remains under-studied in most developing countries like Chile, characterised by fast-paced population ageing process, the presence of a strong neoliberal perspective that promotes the dual-earner model, and deeply-rooted traditional gender roles that keep restraining older women from participating in economic activity. Hence, following the suggestions of contemporary social gerontologists and considering the particular scenery of Chile, this thesis aims to answer the following research question: What are the factors that drive older adults to remain employed after legal retirement age in Chile? To this end, I have conducted three interconnected studies. First, a systematic literature review to identify the factors associated with postretirement work in different countries; I then conducted a quantitative study to examine influencing factors of extended careers in Chile; Finally, I explored the intrinsic motivation to continue working of Chilean adults of retirement age through 32 semi-structured interviews. The systematic literature review provides further insight into which multidimensional factors are most likely to increase older workers’ probability to extend their careers, differentiating between the socio-demographic, implicit, work-related, and life-related factors. As for quantitative findings of this research, the results suggest that intrinsic motivation to continue working is a significant predictor of postretirement work among older Chilean adults, especially among women. This study also indicates that even though older Chilean women with discontinuous work trajectories are motivated to continue working, they have lower probabilities to do so when compared to their male counterparts. Finally, the qualitative part of this research provided a better understanding of intrinsic older adults’ work motivation by identifying three prevailing themes, namely, the meaning that work gives to life, future older adults’ projects and postretirement orientations, and work as the primary source of social interaction.
Tesis (Doctor en Sociología)--Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 2020