How does additional pension benefit affect workers’ retirement timing?

With longevity increasing and public pensions shrinking, old age poverty is a pressing issue in many economies. Han Ye's research opens important avenues for both researchers and public policy makers interested in optimal ways to address the issue of old age poverty.

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Why did you choose Germany as a research destination?

Germany provides an ideal research environment. My home institution, the University of Mannheim, has one of the best economics departments in Europe, providing a platform for rich research interaction, among many other resources. Moreover, my PhD dissertation is about retirement and labor market policies in Germany. Moving to Germany after studying in the US was an excellent opportunity for me to further my research agenda.

What was your first impression of Germany, the German culture and its people?

German cities are closer to each other and better connected by train than in the US. There are many beautiful villages with well-preserved old towns in Germany, which are always a delight to visit. And many German young people speak English very well.

Did you encounter any difficulties while settling in in Germany?

It was hard to deal with bureaucracy and administrative paperwork without knowing German. Even though the welcome center at the University of Mannheim was very helpful with work-related paperwork, I found it difficult when letters arrived in my mailbox. Luckily, Google Translate and German friends helped a lot in these situations.

Do you have tips for other international researchers who are thinking about coming to Germany or cooperating with researchers in Germany?

One tip is that you shouldn't feel intimated by your German colleagues. German people are generally more direct and reserved. They might seem distant at the beginning. However, they can become your most sincere and reliable friends once you get to know them. When they say let’s have a coffee/dinner, they mean it and usually follow up with an appointment.

Short and crisp: What is your favourite

  • German word: Habseligkeiten
  • German dish: Käsespätzle
  • piece of German culture: Christmas market


Find out more about Han Ye and her research project on the Latest Thinking website: