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Employer-Provided Health Insurance and Retirement Behavior

Alan L. Gustman and Thomas L. Steinmeier
Industrial and Labor Relations Review
Vol. 48, No. 1 (Oct., 1994), pp. 124-140
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
DOI: 10.2307/2524630
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2524630
Page Count: 17
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Employer-Provided Health Insurance and Retirement Behavior
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Abstract

Using data from the 1969-79 Retirement History Study, the 1977 National Medical Care Expenditure Survey, the 1983-86 Survey of Consumer Finances, and the 1988 Current Population Survey, the authors analyze, with a structural retirement model, the effect on retirement of employer-provided health benefits. Such benefits, they find, tend to delay retirement until the age of eligibility and afterward to accelerate it. The net effect is small: employer-provided health benefits lowered male retirement age by only about 1.3 months. Valuing health benefits at the price of private health insurance to unaffiliated men, rather than at the cost to employers, increases the effect. Ignoring retiree health benefits in retirement models creates only a small bias.

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