Upjohn Author ORCID Identifier


Publication Date



Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 10-163




We estimate the effect of employer offers of retiree health benefits (RHBs) on the timing of retirement using a sample of Health and Retirement Study (HRS) men observed over a period of up to 12 years. We hypothesize that the effect of RHBs differs for workers of different ages-a hypothesis we can test now that the main HRS cohort has aged sufficiently. We apply three well-known panel data estimators and find that, for men in their 50s, RHBs have little or no effect on retirement decisions; however, a substantial effect emerges for men in their early 60s. We use simulations to illustrate how RHBs alter retirement patterns.

Issue Date

February 2010


This paper is substantially revised from "Retiree Health Benefits and the Decision to Retire," W.J. Usery Workplace Research Group Paper Series 2009-5-1 and W. E. Upjohn Institute Staff Working Paper 09-149, March 2009

Subject Areas

LABOR MARKET ISSUES; Retirement and pensions; Wages, health insurance and other benefits; Health insurance


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Marton, James and Stephen A. Woodbury. 2010. "The Influence of Retiree Health Benefits on Retirement Patterns." Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 10-163. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. https://doi.org/10.17848/wp10-163