This report quantifies the scale of the pandemic retirement boom and explores how it affected existing disparities in retirement outcomes. At least 1.7 million more older workers than expected retired due to the pandemic recession. At earlier ages, vulnerable older workers retired sooner, while more privileged workers delayed retirement. The share of retired workers among adults aged 55-64 rose 5% for those without a college education but fell 4% for those with a college degree. Black workers without a college degree experienced the highest increase in the share who are retired before age 65.


Davis, Owen F., Bridget Fisher, Teresa Ghilarducci, and Siavash Radpour (2021). “The Pandemic Retirement Surge Increased Retirement Inequality.” Status of Older Workers Report Series. Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at The New School for Social Research.