We specify and estimate retirement models for singles and married couples and estimate these on data from the Dutch Socio-Economic Panel. We perform some simulations and find strong effects of retirement options in determining the retirement behaviour within different household types. Model estimates are used to simulate the effect of relevant retirement policies across subgroups. We find that the disadvantageous treatment of the old age pension in the Netherlands for married households with two earners has unintended perverse effects on the labour market behaviour of couples. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.