Inequalities in the longevity of females and males aged 65+ in Spain, 2008-2021.The role of pension income

  1. Carlos Vidal-Meliá 1
  2. Manuel Ventura-Marco 1
  3. .Marta Regúlez-Castillo 2
  4. Juan Manuel Pérez-Salamero González 1
  1. 1 Department of Financial Economics and Actuarial Science, U. of Valencia
  2. 2 Department of Applied Economics III, U. of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU)
Documentos de Trabajo (ICAE)

ISSN: 2341-2356

Year of publication: 2023

Issue: 8

Pages: 1-40

Type: Working paper

More publications in: Documentos de Trabajo (ICAE)


Studies using pensions and/or pensionable income as proxies for life expectancy are few and far between. This paper looks at Spain, a country for which until recently very little was known about the life expectancy of pensioners by pension income (PI) level. We use a large administrative data set to estimate inequalities in longevity among pensioners grouped according to their PI levels. We present the results for mortality trends among retirement pensioners aged 65 and over for nine rolling windows covering six years each for the period 2008-2021. We find that life expectancy by PI level at ages 65 (LE65) has a positive link with the PI level for both males and females, and this is true for all the periods analysed. The absolute differences in LE65 between pensioners in the highest and the lowest PI groups fluctuate across the nine rolling windows examined. For males, the differences increase from the beginning (2.67 years) until 4.06 years and then tend to decrease (2.83 years). For females there are also fluctuations (between 1.84 and 2.67 years), but the absolute differences are always smaller than those observed for males. Another finding is that socioeconomic inequality in longevity by PI group is lower when measured with M65 than LE65. We also find that the pensioner population seems to have been more affected by the COVID-19 pandemic than the general population and that two groups of pensioners – the lowest PI group of males and the highest PI group of females – appear to have improved their longevity during the pandemic.

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