New research conducted by faculty members at Binghamton University in New York has revealed that early retirement may accelerate cognitive decline.
This finding and more came from an examination of China’s New Rural Pension Scheme (NRPS) as well as the Chinese Health and Retirement Longitudinal Survey (CHARLS) to ascertain how retirement plans impact cognitive performance among participants.
CHARLS is a nationally representative survey of people over the age of 45 in China and specifically tests cognition with an emphasis on episodic memory and facets of unimpaired mental status.
The elderly population has become a significant demographic source in Latin America and Asia due to higher life expectancies and declining fertility rates in developing countries.
Due to this, sustainable new pension systems– like NRPS– were introduced in order to combat poverty in older age.
“In rural parts of the country, traditional family-based care for the elderly had largely broken down without formal mechanisms to take its place. For the elderly, inadequate transfers from either informal family or community transfers could severely reduce their ability to cope with illness or poor nutrition,” explained Plamen Nikolov, one of the study’s authors.
Although, according to the study, these retirement plans may have severe adverse consequences.
The researchers examined administrative government data obtained from the Chinese government regarding the pension program’s implementation.
They were also able to access additional survey data, which outlined the socioeconomic and behavioral characteristics of the new retirement program’s participants.