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A new study finds links between the rise in the state pension age for women and levels of mental health problems for women in lower income jobs.
Depression rates for women in lower grade jobs have increased as a result of the rise in the State Pension age, according to a new study.
The study, published in Health Economics and led by Ludovico Carrino from King’s College London, examines the impact of raising the State Pension age on women’s health.
The State Pension age has increased from 60 up to 66 years for women born after March 1950 in the UK since 2010.
The study shows that raising the State Pension age leads to an increase of up to 12 percentage points in the probability of depressive symptoms, alongside an increase in self‐reported medically diagnosed depression among women in a lower occupational grade.
The results suggest that these effects are driven by prolonged exposure to the kind of jobs that increase stress levels because they are characterised by high physical or psychosocial demands and a low sense of control.
The study says the negative mental health consequences of the pension reforms have been overlooked and “should be considered in cost‐effectiveness policy evaluations, as they might outweigh some of the potential benefits from later retirement”.
It recommends that eligibility rules for the state pension age should include occupation to address issues of fairness and that national policies that increase the State Pension age “may need to consider strategies to prevent negative health consequences for women in manual and routine occupations, for example, through inclusive labour market policies that facilitate a smooth transition to retirement”.