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Influence of Health and Work on Early Retirement

van den Berg, Tilja I. J. MSc; Elders, Leo A. M. PhD; Burdorf, Alex PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: June 2010 - Volume 52 - Issue 6 - p 576-583
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181de8133
Original Articles

Objective: The influence of health and work on early retirement and incentives for longer working were determined.

Methods: A systematic review was conducted of longitudinal studies on factors for nondisability early retirement. Besides, seven focus group interviews (n = 32) were conducted about reasons for planning retirement early and incentives to stay longer in work among workers with poor and excellent work ability.

Results: Eight longitudinal studies showed that important factors for early retirement were poor health, being single, high physical work demands, high work pressure, low job satisfaction, and lack of physical activity in leisure time. In addition, focus group participants reported shift work, social support, and appreciative leadership style also as factors.

Conclusions: Poor health and poor work circumstances are important factors in decisions to retire early. Social support and appreciative leadership style may be buffers in this process.

From the Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Alex Burdoff, Tilja I. van den Berg, and Leo A. Elders have no financial interest in this research.

The JOEM Editorial Board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

Address correspondence to: Alex Burdorf, Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, PO box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands; E-mail:

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine