To investigate whether aging employees' selection, optimization, and compensation (SOC) strategies were associated with work ability over and above job demand and control variables, as well as across professions.
Multivariable linear regressions were conducted using a representative sample of German employees born in 1959 and 1965 (N = 6057).
SOC was assessed to have an independent effect on work ability. Associations of job demands and control variables with work ability were more prominent. The SOC tended to enhance the positive association between decision authority and work ability.
Individual strategies of selection, optimization, and compensation could be considered as psychosocial resources adding up to a better work ability and complement prevention programs. Workplace interventions should deal with job demands and control to maintain older employees' work ability in times of working population shrinkage.