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Work-related factors as predictors in the retirement decision-making process of older workers in the Netherlands

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 June 2013

Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI), The Hague, The Netherlands.
Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI), The Hague, The Netherlands. Department of Sociology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Address for correspondence: Hanna van Solinge, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI), PO Box 11650, 2502 AR The Hague, The Netherlands. E-mail:


This article examines work-related factors and their impact on the retirement decision-making process. We particularly focus on organisational human resources policies and normative climate regarding retirement. Organisations create opportunities and conditions for career extension via their personnel instruments. The normative climate may encourage or discourage retirement. We use a ten-year follow-up study among 1,458 older employees in the Netherlands aged 50–59 at baseline. Results reveal that older workers are sensitive to social approval earned from their co-workers and supervisor. A social climate that supports working up to higher ages is an important requisite for reducing the attractiveness of the early retirement option. Retirement intentions, formed in the years prior to retirement, are shaped by workplace norms and supervisors' attitudes. Results indicate that in order to delay retirement, policy initiatives cannot be reduced to altering financial restrictions surrounding retirement but need to address the forces at the organisational level that channel workers out of employment.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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