Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Psychological and psychosocial predictors of attitudes to working past normal retirement age

By Eleanor M.M. Davies and Susan Cartwright


Purpose – This research aims to look at preferences for retirement, in particular, later retirement, amongst a sample of older employees in the UK in the financial services industry. It seeks to investigate specifically the influence of personal, psychological and psychosocial determinants of preferences for retiring later. Additionally, the study presents a typology of different retirement preferences based on psychological and psychosocial variables. \ud \ud Design/methodology/approach – The data are based on questionnaires from 556 employees of a UK financial services organisation (aged 40-60) and measures include psychological expectations of retirement (expected adjustment to retirement, attitudes towards leisure and social interaction), psychosocial attitudes (job satisfaction, intrinsic motivation, organisational comment and work commitment) and attitudes towards working beyond normal retirement age. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted and one-way ANOVA was conducted to identify differences between groups. \ud \ud Findings – The data show very negative attitudes towards working later than the normal retirement age and that expectations of adjustment to retirement were the most significant predictor towards retirement preferences, followed by work commitment. Significant differences in retirement attitudes and intentions were found between different groups of employees. \ud \ud Practical implications – Some of the practical implications of the work suggest that retirement preferences are shaped only to a moderate degree by psychosocial attitudes. In seeking to retain older workers in the workforce for longer employers should encourage employees to develop strong social relationships at work and allow gradual transitions to ultimate retirement. \ud \ud Originality/value – The paper looked at preferences for retirement, particularly later retirement, and found that, if employers wish to retain the knowledge, skills and expertise of their employees, then it would seem that they need to devise means of allowing people to achieve some of the more desirable aspects of retirement (greater free time, opportunity to pursue hobbies and interests) at the same time as retaining some of the benefits of work (status, professional interest, income etc.). Phased and flexible retirement initiatives therefore seem to be one of the solutions

Topics: BF, H1, HD
Publisher: Emerald
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1996). A Life Course Perspective on Retirement, Gender, and Well-Being". doi
  2. (1942). Age and ex in the social structure of the United States". doi
  3. (2005). Age Concern Launches 'Heyday' to Meet the Needs of hte Modern Retiree. London, Age Concern.
  4. (2003). An empirical study of older workers attitudes towards the retirement experience". doi
  5. (1942). Analysis of Situational Fields in Social Psychology". doi
  6. (2009). Antecedents and consequences of retirement planning and decision-making: A meta-analysis and model". doi
  7. (2002). Applying work-role attachment theory to retirement decision-making." doi
  8. (1991). Assessing the Social Components of Retirement Anxiety". doi
  9. (1999). Career-related variables and planned retirement age: an extension of Beehr's model". doi
  10. (2005). Couples' adjustment to retirement: a multi-actor panel study". doi
  11. (2003). Do high job demands increase intrinsic motivation or fatigue or both? The role of Job control and job social support". doi
  12. (1985). Early retirement processes amongst older men". doi
  13. (2005). Embedded Career Clocks: The Case of Retirement Planning". doi
  14. (2002). Employers Forum on Age
  15. (1993). Evidence for a pre-retirement process among older male workers". doi
  16. (2007). Examining retirement from a multi-level perspective.
  17. (2002). Examining the roles of job involvement and work centrality in predicting organizational citizenship behaviors and job performance." doi
  18. (1997). Explaining retirement decisions of civil servants in the Netherlands: intentions, behavior, and the discrepancy between the two." doi
  19. (1997). Factors that influence attitudes toward retirement". doi
  20. (1993). Gender, financial strain and psychological distress among older adults". doi
  21. (1995). Gradual retirement in OECD countries". doi
  22. (1992). Major social theories of aging and their implications for counseling concepts and practice. A critical review". doi
  23. (2006). Making the transition to retirement: Appriasls, post transition lifestyles and changes in consumption patterns". doi
  24. (1985). Modes of experiencing and adaptation to retirement".
  25. (2007). Occupational Attachment and Met Expectations as Predictors of Retirement Adjustment of Naval Officers". doi
  26. (1990). Passing the torch: The influence of economic incentives on work and retirement, doi
  27. (2006). Pathways into retirement: Entry or exit?" doi
  28. (2006). Phase Retirement: Who Opts for It and towards what end".
  29. (2008). Postponing job retirement? Psychosocial influences on the preferences for early or late retirement". doi
  30. (2000). Pre-retirement Expectations and the quality of life of male retirees in later retirement". doi
  31. (1979). Pre-retirement life-style and the degree of planning for retirement". doi
  32. (1995). Predicting Retirement Anxiety: The Roles of Parental Socialization and Personal Planning". doi
  33. (1995). Predictors of planned retirement age: An application of Beehr's model". doi
  34. (1984). Retirement decisions: Expectation, intention and action." doi
  35. (1999). Retirement intentions and spousal support: a multi-actor approach". doi
  36. (1979). Scales for the measurement of some work attitudesa dn aspects of psychological well-being". doi
  37. (2000). Social role identities among older adults in a continuing care retirement community". doi
  38. (2006). The aging workforce. Realities, myths, and implications for organisations. , doi
  39. (1994). The decision to retire early". doi
  40. (2008). The effects of retirement expectations and social support on post-retirement adjustment". doi
  41. (2005). The Future of Retirement in a World of Rising Life Expectancies.
  42. (1998). The Influence of Push and Pull Factors on Voluntary and Involuntary Early Retirees' Retirement Decision and Adjustment". doi
  43. (1982). The role social pressures play in early retirement propensities".
  44. (1976). The Sociology of Retirement, doi
  45. (2008). The transition process to postworkign life and its psychosocail outcomes".
  46. (1997). Towards a hierarchical model of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. doi
  47. (2009). Towards an integrated model of individual, psychosocial, and organizational predictors of retirement adjustment". doi
  48. (1998). Turnover and retirement: a comparison of their similarities and differences." doi
  49. (2001). Understanding the Links between Work Commitment Constructs". doi
  50. (2008). Voluntary Retirement and Organizational Turnover Intentions: The Differential Associations with Work and Non-Work Commitment Constructs". doi
  51. (2008). What would persuade older people to stay longer in work?
  52. (2008). When do committed employees retire? The effects of organizational commitment on retirement plans under a defined-benefit pension plan". doi
  53. (1990). Why retire early?" doi
  54. (2000). Work and Nonwork predictors of employees' retirement ages". doi
  55. (2000). Work centrality and work alienation: Distinct aspects of a general commitment to work". doi
  56. (2008). Work-role attachment and retirement intentions of public school teachers in Calabar, Nigeria".
  57. (2000). Working in retirement: The antecedents of bridge employment and its consequences for quality of life in retirement". doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.