Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2015;41(1):24-35    pdf full text

doi:10.5271/sjweh.3468

The role of ability, motivation, and opportunity to work in the transition from work to early retirement – testing and optimizing the Early Retirement Model

by de Wind A, Geuskens GA, Ybema JF, Bongers PM, van der Beek AJ

Objectives Determinants in the domains health, job characteristics, skills, and social and financial factors may influence early retirement through three central explanatory variables, namely, the ability, motivation, and opportunity to work. Based on the literature, we created the Early Retirement Model. This study aims to investigate whether data support the model and how it could be improved.

Methods Employees aged 58–62 years (N=1862), who participated in the first three waves of the Dutch Study on Transitions in Employment, Ability and Motivation (STREAM) were included. Determinants were assessed at baseline, central explanatory variables after one year, and early retirement after two years. Structural equation modeling was applied.

Results Testing the Early Retirement Model resulted in a model with good fit. Health, job characteristics, skills, and social and financial factors were related to the ability, motivation and/or opportunity to work (significant β range: 0.05–0.31). Lower work ability (β=-0.13) and less opportunity to work (attitude colleagues and supervisor about working until age 65: β=-0.24) predicted early retirement, whereas the motivation to work (work engagement) did not. The model could be improved by adding direct effects of three determinants on early retirement, ie, support of colleagues and supervisor (β=0.14), positive attitude of the partner with respect to early retirement (β=0.15), and not having a partner (β=-0.13).

Conclusions The Early Retirement Model was largely supported by the data but could be improved. The prolongation of working life might be promoted by work-related interventions focusing on health, work ability, the social work climate, social norms on prolonged careers, and the learning environment.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2009;35(1):1-5  2014;40(2):186-194
The following articles refer to this text: 2017;43(1):34-41; 2017;43(4):326-336