Impact of Family Care Needs on Elderly Workers' Decisions on Retirement

Author Name HIGUCHI Yoshio  (Faculty Fellow, RIETI / Professor, Faculty of Business and Commerce, Keio University) /KUROSAWA Masako  (Faculty Fellow, RIETI / Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies) /SAKAI Tadashi  (Researcher, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research) /SATO Kazuma  (Keio University Graduate School of Business and Commerce) /TAKEISHI Emiko  (Researcher, NLI Research Institute)
Creation Date/NO. April 2006 06-J-036
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Based on panel data covering elderly people, we have examined how their decision on whether or not to retire is affected by the presence of a family member in need of care. Our major findings are: 1) the presence of a family member in need of care tends to inhibit other family members' participation in work; but, 2) patterns in which work participation is inhibited differ between men and women; the need to care for a family member affects males in full-time regular employment or engaged in sole proprietorship, whereas females who are non-regular and/or part-time employees are the most affected; and 3) no conclusive results were obtained as to whether the public elderly care system, introduced in 2005, has brought any changes to the work-inhibiting effects of family care needs. The public pension system and the mandatory age retirement rules have been the primary focus of attention in discussing factors inhibiting work participation among the elderly. However, it is also important to emphasize policy measures for alleviating the nursing burden of family caregivers as a way of promoting work participation among the elderly.