Adjusting work life and encouraging older employees to continue at work has become a common challenge as the workforce ages. Gender differences in retirement decisions have largely been overlooked in previous studies, despite the fact that retirement as a life course event and the experience of retirement can be gender dependent.
To explore which personal and work-related psychological factors predict early retirement intentions among older women and men and to investigate the stability of these predictors through use of longitudinal data.
This research is based on an 11-year follow-up study of ageing Finnish municipal employees. Data on 1101 employees' early retirement intentions were analysed with binary logistic regression analysis in separate longitudinal and cross-sectional models.
Gender differences in early retirement intentions were detected both at baseline and at follow-up. Negative perceptions about work and low work and general life satisfaction were associated with early retirement intentions among women. For men, good self-rated work ability and perceived good health were negatively associated with early retirement intentions. In addition, negative perceptions about work predicted early retirement intentions among men.
Adverse work- or health-related factors detected in middle age predicted subsequent early retirement intentions.