Gender differences in paid employment after retirement

Psychosocial working conditions and well-being
  • Jeannette WeberEmail author
  • Annet de Lange
  • Andreas Müller



An increasing number of persons continue to work after retirement age. This decision is often different between men and women as well as working histories, sectors and hierarchical positions; however, whether gender differences in working conditions and occupational well-being also exist in paid employment after retirement (PEAR) has not yet been investigated.


This study aimed to examine gender differences in working conditions and well-being of workers in PEAR.

Material and methods

In this study 784 employees (23.5% female) aged 65 years and older who were contracted by a Dutch temporary employment agency, participated in the baseline survey in 2011. Furthermore, a panel of 228 employees (25.9% female) participated again during a second wave in 2012. Job demands, job control, emotional exhaustion and job engagement were assessed at both time points by validated self-reporting measures.


Female employees worked fewer years in paid employment before 65 years of age, were more likely to be single, divorced or widowed, had a smaller income and worked less hours during PEAR than men. In the baseline analysis, females reported less job control and higher job stress than men. No gender differences were found on emotional exhaustion, engagement or job demands. Over the study period emotional exhaustion only increased in females. The longitudinal trend of job demands, control and engagement did not significantly differ between both sexes.


The results suggest that working conditions of PEAR are less favorable for women than for men. Furthermore, the longitudinal trend of emotional exhaustion seems to be more disadvantageous for women.


Netherlands Longitudinal study Bridge employment Emotional exhaustion Older workers 

Geschlechtsspezifische Unterschiede in der Erwerbstätigkeit nach Renteneintritt

Psychosoziale Arbeitsbedingungen und Wohlbefinden



Immer mehr Personen bleiben auch nach Renteneintritt erwerbstätig. Diese Entscheidung ist oft geschlechtsabhängig und, obwohl sich Männer und Frauen bezüglich Erwerbsbiografie, Arbeitsbranche und Position oft voneinander unterscheiden, gibt es bislang keine Studie zu geschlechtsspezifischen Unterschieden hinsichtlich Arbeitsbedingungen und Wohlbefinden bei Erwerbstätigkeit nach Renteneintritt.


Ziel der Studie ist die Untersuchung geschlechtsspezifischer Unterschiede bezüglich psychosozialer Arbeitsbedingungen und Wohlbefinden bei Erwerbstätigkeit nach Renteneintritt.

Material und Methoden

An der ersten Befragungswelle 2011 nahmen 784 Angestellte einer niederländischen Zeitarbeitsagentur für Beschäftigte über 65 Jahre (23,5 % weiblich) teil. Ein Jahr später konnten 228 Teilnehmer (25,9 % weiblich) erneut befragt werden. Sozioökonomische Variablen, Anforderungen, Kontrolle und Engagement bei der Arbeit sowie emotionale Erschöpfung wurden mithilfe validierter Selbstbeurteilungsskalen erhoben.


Frauen waren weniger Jahre vor ihrem 66. Lebensjahr erwerbstätig, häufiger ledig, verwitwet oder geschieden, hatten ein geringeres Einkommen und arbeiteten weniger Stunden während ihrer Beschäftigung nach Renteneintritt als Männer. Zur ersten Befragungswelle gaben Frauen weniger Kontrolle und höhere Arbeitsbelastungen an. Bezüglich emotionaler Erschöpfung, Anforderungen und Engagement wurden keine signifikanten Unterschiede verzeichnet. Über den Studienverlauf nahm die emotionale Erschöpfung nur bei den Frauen zu. Es wurden keine weiteren signifikanten geschlechtsspezifischen Veränderungen beobachtet.


Die Ergebnisse weisen auf ungünstigere Arbeitsbedingungen bei Erwerbstätigkeit nach Renteneintritt für Frauen hin. Des Weiteren nahm das Wohlbefinden bei der Arbeit über den Studienverlauf bei Frauen einen ungünstigeren Verlauf.


Niederlande Längsschnittuntersuchung „Bridge employment“ Emotionale Erschöpfung Ältere Beschäftigte 



We thank Bart Veltman and the Dutch temporary employment agency for workers above 65 years of age for their help with data collection.

Compliance with ethical guidelines

Conflict of interest

J. Weber, A. de Lange and A. Müller declare that they have no competing interests.

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1975 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

The supplement containing this article is not sponsored by industry.

Supplementary material

391_2018_1453_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (232 kb)
Supplemental Material 1 Drop-out analysis for all participants, male participants and female participants with data from wave 1
391_2018_1453_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (183 kb)
Supplemental Material 2 Spearman correlation between study variables
391_2018_1453_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (199 kb)
Supplemental Material 3 Results of repeated measures ANCOVA


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Copyright information

© Springer Medizin Verlag GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Centre for Health and SocietyHeinrich-Heine-University DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany
  2. 2.Department of Human Resource ManagementHAN University of Applied SciencesArnhemThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Faculty of economics and business administrationVU University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of StavangerStavangerNorway
  5. 5.Faculty of PsychologyNTNUTrondheimNorway
  6. 6.Institute of Psychology, Work and Organizational PsychologyUniversity Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany

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