What Drives Pension Worries in Europe? A Multilevel Analysis

31 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2010

See all articles by Douglas A. Hershey

Douglas A. Hershey

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater

Kene Henkens

Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute

Hendrik P. van Dalen

Tilburg University, CentER; Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)

Date Written: October 1, 2009

Abstract

Nations in Europe have been developing rapidly since the formation of the European Union (EU), not only socially and demographically, but economically as well. One question a number of countries will face during this period of structural transition will be how (and how well) they are able to support their citizens in old age. A related question involves whether individuals worry about their financial future in retirement, and the extent to which they take active steps to save in order to ensure an adequate standard of living. In this study, we analyze data from the third wave of the European Social Survey, which represents 22,609 working adults from 23 countries in Europe. We used multilevel modelling to focus on the explanatory factors that underlie individual and country-level effects in future pension worry and saving behavior. Findings suggest that once individual-level dimensions are taken into account, country-level predictors explain appreciable variance in worry, but not saving practices. Pension worries are more severe in countries with a low retirement age and a strong projected increase in future population aging. This suggests that the drive toward raising the retirement age in a number of EU countries may alleviate some of the worries of its citizens.

Keywords: retirement, worry, saving, Europe, economic, multilevel modelling

Suggested Citation

Hershey, Douglas A. and Henkens, Kene and van Dalen, Hendrik P., What Drives Pension Worries in Europe? A Multilevel Analysis (October 1, 2009). Netspar Discussion Paper No. 10/2009-055, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1573557 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1573557

Douglas A. Hershey (Contact Author)

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater ( email )

Stillwater, OK 74078-0555

Kene Henkens

Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute ( email )

P.O. Box 11650
The Hague NL-2502 AR
Netherlands
+3170 3565235 (Phone)
+3170 3647187 (Fax)

Hendrik P. Van Dalen

Tilburg University, CentER ( email )

Tilburg University
P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, NL-5000 LE
Netherlands
+13 4668982 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tilburguniversity.nl/webwijs/show/?uid=h.p.vandalen

Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) ( email )

P.O. Box 11650
NL-2502 AR The Hague
Netherlands
+70 356 5237 (Phone)
+70 364 7187 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.nidi.knaw.nl/en/staff/vandalen/

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