Determinants of voluntary early retirement for older workers with and without chronic diseases: A Danish prospective study

Ranu Sewdas, Sannie Vester Thorsen, C. cile R. L. Boot, Jakob Bue Bjørner, Allard J. van der beek

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Aims: This study explored differences in determinants (i.e. health-related, work-related and social factors) of voluntary early retirement between older workers with and without chronic diseases in Denmark. Methods: Workers aged 56–64 years who were members of a voluntary early retirement scheme were selected from the Danish National Working Environment Survey (2008–2009) and were followed in a public register for four years. Cox regression analyses were performed separately for older workers with and without chronic disease to identify the associations between determinants and voluntary early retirement. To explore the differences between groups, an interaction term between the determinant and having a chronic disease was included in the analyses for the total population. Results: Among 1861 eligible older workers, determinants associated with a higher risk of voluntary early retirement included poorer self-rated health, more depressive symptoms, a higher physical workload, lower job satisfaction and lower influence at work. For older workers with a chronic disease (n=1185), the presence of work–family conflict was also associated with a higher risk of voluntary early retirement, whereas for those with no chronic disease (n=676), a poorer relationship with colleagues was an additional determinant. Higher emotional demands, a higher work pace and higher quantitative demands were not significantly associated with voluntary early retirement for either group. None of the interaction terms was found to be statistically significant (p>0.05). Conclusions: Determinants associated with voluntary early retirement did not significantly differ between older workers with or without a chronic disease in Denmark. We conclude that several health-related, work-related and social factors are important for prolonged labour force participation of older workers (with and without a chronic disease).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-199
Number of pages10
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Early online date18 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

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