This article contributes to the debate about retirement age and the extent to which occupational pensions influence the decision to retire. It uses the waves of Labour Force Survey (1984-91) and Quarterly Labour Force Survey (1992-2003) to review the changes in the actual average retirement age in the UK during the period 1984-2003 by gender and ethnicity. The article investigates the link between occupational pension schemes and the actual retirement age of men and women. It explores the impact of pension type on employees' expected retirement age and the decision to take early retirement using the English Longitudinal Survey of Ageing (2002-03).\u
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