To examine the predictive value of intentions to retire early on the process of disability retirement and the contribution of life dissatisfaction to the association between intentions to retire early and disability retirement.
A cohort of 6484 employees over 40 years and working for the City of Helsinki was followed from 2000 to 2004. At baseline, the participants had responded to a questionnaire. Information on disability retirement was obtained from the Local Government Pensions Institution and the State Treasury. We calculated age and gender adjusted incidence rates and estimated Cox regression models.
During the follow-up 232 (3.6%) participants were granted a disability pension. Clear predictive value of disability retirement was found for strong intentions to retire early (age and gender adjusted hazard ratio HR 6.55, 95% CI 4.64-9.26) and for life dissatisfaction (dissatisfaction with subjective well-being, HR 5.31, 4.11-6.87). After adjusting for life dissatisfaction, the HR for those with strong intentions to retire early attenuated to 3.86 (2.66-5.62). After simultaneous adjustments for various risk factors the associations of intentions to retire early and dissatisfaction with subjective well-being with disability retirement attenuated, but remained statistically significant.
The impact of intentions and subjective experience of well-being as measured by life dissatisfaction to the process of disability retirement should be recognized. Intentions to retire and life dissatisfaction should be considered as suitable measures when identifying people with elevated risk of disability retirement.