Intention to Retire in Employees over 50 years: What is the Role of Work Ability and Work Life Satisfaction?

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Background: We investigated work ability and trajectories of work life satisfaction (WLS) as predictors of intention to retire (ITR) before the statutory age. Methods: Participants were Finnish postal service employees, who responded to surveys in 2016 and 2018 (n = 1466). Survey measures included ITR, work ability and WLS. Mixture modelling was used to identify trajectories of WLS. A generalized linear model was used to determine the measures of association (Risk Ratios, RR; 95% Confidence Intervals, CI) between exposures (work ability and WLS) and ITR. Results: Approximately 40% of respondents indicated ITR. Four distinct trajectories of WLS were identified: high (33%), moderate (35%), decreasing (23%) and low (9%). Participants with poor work ability (RR 1.79, 95% CI 1.40–2.29) and decreasing WLS (1.29, 1.13–1.46) were more likely to indicate an ITR early compared to the participants with excellent/good work ability and high WLS. Job control mediated the relationship between ITR and work ability (9.3%) and WLS (14.7%). Job support also played a similar role (14% and 20.6%). Conclusions: Work ability and WLS are important contributors to the retirement intentions of employees. Ensuring workers have appropriate support and control over their work are mechanisms through which organisations may encourage employees to remain at work for longer.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • ageing workers
  • eläköityminen
  • hyvinvointi
  • ikääntyvät työntekijät
  • intention to retire
  • psychosocial work exposures
  • työkyky
  • work ability
  • work wellbeing

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1


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