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Codes and Frequencies

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RETIRED indicates whether or not the respondent has retired.

RETIRED is created from a question about retirement when available and, alternatively, the receipt of retirement pension income. If neither of these pieces of information are available, the respondent is coded as retired if he or she above the legal retirement age and does not report working full-time hours. Only when this information was not available was data regarding the respondent's main activity during the week prior to the survey used to compute this variable.

Ideally, when combined with EMPSTAT, this variable should distinguish working and non-working retired people.

Comparability — Index

South Africa
South Korea
United Kingdom
United States


RETIRED is constructed differently across samples.

Comparability — Canada [top]

In 2010, the missing cases for RETIRED may be attributed to the cases coded "not stated" and "don't know" in the original variable, ACT7DAYS who are 60 and more years of age.

Comparability — Finland [top]

In 1979, EMP, STUDENT, and RETIRED are mutually exclusive - a person can be coded only as one of the three. The original variable (ptoim) asked respondents to choose from one of the following: "employed", "unemployed", "student", "chronic disability/illness", "pensioner otherwise", "homemaker" or "other".

In this sample, only 1.3% cases was coded as RETIRED=1, due the respondents' age range (10-64 years old).

Comparability — France [top]

In 1998, the high percentage (24.4) of RETIRED=1 is due to the respondents' age range (about 20% of respondents are over 65).

Comparability — South Africa [top]

In 2000, RETIRED was coded using the original “reason for not looking for work” (NOTLOOKI) variable; a specific variable concerning retirement status was not available.

In 2010, this variable is coded based on the main source of income declared by respondent.

Comparability — South Korea [top]

In 2008, no variable is available specifically regarding retired persons. This variable is created from the main economic status during the last week. If the diarist is aged above the legal retirement age (60 in S. Korea) and does not report working full-time hours, he/she is coded as retired. Therefore, older people who work part-time hours are included as retired.

Comparability — Spain [top]

In 2009, there is limited information on small hours worked by people with minimal engagement in the labor market. The numbers of retired people with small hours of work may be underestimated.

Comparability — United Kingdom [top]

In 1974, this variable is based on an economic activity variable. People above the age of 70 are assumed to be retired, though some individuals do work part time.

In 1987, the survey asked main respondents whether they considered themselves to be retired or whether they received a retirement-related pension. The only question asked of other respondents who are retired is a current economic activity status variable that includes a category for not working in the grounds of retirement. Where people are not working and are over age 65, we also code them as retired. As the main respondents are aged 20-61, and all households in this sample include a member in this age range, the sample above the age of 62 is highly restricted in this sample.

In 1995, 99% of the cases with a missing value of last week activity correspond to respondents who are employed or self-employed. In these cases, if their age is 65+, then set RETIRED=1. Regardless, if the age is 70+ and the respondent is not working for pay, then they are coded as RETIRED=1.

In 2000, receipt of retirement pension was used to identify retired people who are working.

In 2005, the survey categorized older people as still working or as retired (this survey does not handle the cases of the retired who work short hours). People who are retired and not working were asked about the number of hours this person previously worked, though some documentation on this topic is ambiguous.

Comparability — United States [top]

For 1998-2001, RETIRED created from an economic activity status variable for individuals who do not hold a paid job. Very few retired or unemployed people have work hours, which is likely an underestimate of these groups. A limited number of these people report paid work time in their diaries.


  • All persons.


  • Armenia: 2008
  • Austria: 1992
  • Bulgaria: 2001
  • Canada: 2005, 2010, 2015
  • Finland: 1979, 2009
  • France: 1985, 2009
  • Hungary: 1999, 2009
  • Israel: 1991
  • Italy: 2002, 2008
  • Netherlands: 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000
  • South Africa: 2000, 2010
  • South Korea: 2009
  • Spain: 2002
  • United Kingdom: 1983, 1987, 1995, 2000, 2005
  • United States: 1965, 1975, 1985, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2003-2022