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ABSTRACT

Pension-covered workers in Germany are three times less likely to change jobs than workers not covered by an occupational pension scheme. This paper examines the effects of occupational pension coverage and pension portability loss on voluntary job changes using a sample selection model with endogenous switching. The model estimates, derived from western German panel data for 1985–1998, indicate that occupational pension coverage reduces worker mobility by imposing a capital loss on those leaving their job before retirement age. Moreover, pension-covered workers receive a higher compensation, which discourages mobility. Making pensions portable increases mobility, but from a low initial level.