Identity constructions for retirement: contents and processes of identity work during the transition to the post-employment phase

As a result of demographic change, a growing number of people in Switzerland are reaching retirement age. For those concerned, retirement is accompanied by many different and far-reaching changes and can therefore be seen as a particularly sensitive time. Against this background, the project, which is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), examines the content and processes involved in dealing with identity concepts before and after the transition to the post-employment phase. Special attention is paid to possible differences in economic, social, cultural and health capital. The project comprises a standardized survey of people who are about six months before retirement, which is representative of German-speaking Switzerland, and a qualitative follow-up survey of 25 people, which is conducted about 1.5 years after the initial survey. Through the interdisciplinary and methodologically differentiated examination of identity work during the transition to the post-employment phase, the project contributes to overcoming an existing research gap as well as to theory development in the field of identity and retirement research.

Project team

Sabina Misoch, Julia Reiner, Veronika Hämmerle


Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF)


336'996 CHF


06/2019 – 05/2022