Mortality and life expectancy trends for male pensioners by pension income level

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Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales. Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico (ICAE)
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We draw on the Continuous Sample of Working Lives (CSWL) to investigate the differences in socioeconomic mortality among retired men aged 65 and above over the longest possible period covered by this data source: 2005–2018. This paper deals with the case of Spain, since very little evidence concerning retirement pensioners is available for this country. The only indicator of socioeconomic status we use is the amount of the initial pension of the retired population. For 2005-2010 we find a gap in life expectancy of 1.49 years between pensioners in the highest and lowest income groups. This gap widens over time and reaches 2.58 years for the period 2015–2018. The increase in life expectancy inequality cannot be attributed to the pension system reforms carried out over the period 2011-2013, given that the system has become more redistributive and there has been a clear increase in real terms in the amounts of minimum pensions over recent years. The causes might be traced back to the decrease in public spending on health over the period 2009-2018 and the increased spending on private health, which would presumably be of more benefit to those retirees with bigger pensions.
The authors are especially grateful to Manuel Ventura-Marco, who made an active contribution to previous versions, and to Peter Hall for his help with the English text.
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