Now, keep up to date
with daily feeds of newly posted stories
about America's Seniors...click on the box
What makes workers take Early Retirement?
Newswise, June 2010 — Poor health is the most important
reason why workers decide to take early
retirement, but factors such as high work
pressure and low job satisfaction also play
a role, reports a study in the June
Journal of Occupational and Environmental
Medicine, official publication of the
American College of Occupational and
Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).
Added support and changes in leadership style might help to
delay retirement in highly skilled older
workers, according to the study by Tilja I.J.
van den Berg, M.Sc., and colleagues of
Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the
In a review of eight previous studies, poor health was the
factor most consistently related to early
retirement. Several other work-related
factors also seemed to play a role,
including high physical work demands, high
work pressure, and low job satisfaction.
The study also included focus group interviews with older
workers in the printing industry—which has a
highly skilled but rapidly aging workforce.
The printers agreed that poor health would
make them consider retiring early. Other
factors that could push them toward early
retirement included heavy work load,
shiftwork, and lack of support from
coworkers and management.
When asked about incentives that would encourage them to
postpone retirement, the workers mentioned
increased support from coworkers and
appreciation from management. Since they
appreciated the importance of good health in
preventing early retirement, they also
mentioned steps that would help them to stay
fit, such as access to a worksite gym.
Especially in industries with highly qualified technical
jobs, companies need information on what
factors may "push" valued older employees
toward early retirement, as well as factors
that can "pull" them toward staying on the
The new study identifies health- and work-related factors
leading to early retirement, along with
factors that could help to keep valued older
workers on the job—sometimes as simple as a
"pat on the back" to express appreciation.
"Postponing early retirement could be
facilitated by reducing workload, increasing
social support from colleagues, appreciative
and supportive leadership, and health
promotion," the researchers write.
an international society of nearly 5,000
occupational physicians and other health
care professionals, provides leadership to
promote optimal health and safety of
workers, workplaces, and environments.
About Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
The Journal of Occupational and
Environmental Medicine (www.joem.org)
is the official journal of the American
College of Occupational and Environmental
Medicine. Edited to serve as a guide for
physicians, nurses, and researchers, the
clinically oriented research articles are an
excellent source for new ideas, concepts,
techniques, and procedures that can be
readily applied in the industrial or
commercial employment setting.