MDPI, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(16), p. 2500, 2019
Background: We investigated work ability and trajectories of work life satisfaction (WLS) as predictors of intention to retire (ITR) before the statutory age. Methods: Participants were Finnish postal service employees, who responded to surveys in 2016 and 2018 (n = 1466). Survey measures included ITR, work ability and WLS. Mixture modelling was used to identify trajectories of WLS. A generalized linear model was used to determine the measures of association (Risk Ratios, RR; 95% Confidence Intervals, CI) between exposures (work ability and WLS) and ITR. Results: Approximately 40% of respondents indicated ITR. Four distinct trajectories of WLS were identified: high (33%), moderate (35%), decreasing (23%) and low (9%). Participants with poor work ability (RR 1.79, 95% CI 1.40–2.29) and decreasing WLS (1.29, 1.13–1.46) were more likely to indicate an ITR early compared to the participants with excellent/good work ability and high WLS. Job control mediated the relationship between ITR and work ability (9.3%) and WLS (14.7%). Job support also played a similar role (14% and 20.6%). Conclusions: Work ability and WLS are important contributors to the retirement intentions of employees. Ensuring workers have appropriate support and control over their work are mechanisms through which organisations may encourage employees to remain at work for longer.