Faculty Retirement and Mortality: The University of California Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Programs

Mark Borgschulte, University of California, Berkeley

This study examines take-up and long-run mortality effects of the Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Programs (VERIPs) conducted by the University of California (UC) in the early 1990s. VERIPs induced the retirement of over 20% of tenured and tenure-track faculty at UC. Focusing on the retirement and mortality experiences of tenured faculty over the age of 45 at the time of the first VERIP offer, I find a significant association between receipt of a VERIP offer and subsequent mortality. Each additional year of retirement exposure induced by VERIPs increases cumulative mortality by 1.0%. These effects may reflect the many health-promoting characteristics of the position: the work is cognitively and socially stimulating, requires minimal physical exertion or hazard, and employment protections are nearly inviolate.

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Presented in Session 93: Health and Mortality Effects of Macro Social, Economic, and Technological Change