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Retirement decisions in the context of the abolishment of mandatory retirement


  • Amy M. Warren
  • E. Kevin Kelloway


Purpose - The purpose of this study is to use the theory of planned behavior to test a structural model of retirement timing intentions of older workers in Canada following the abolishment of mandatory retirement. Design/methodology/approach - A survey of 281 working individuals was conducted in order to test a model of retirement timing. Findings - The model was a good fit to the data. Attitudes toward people at work predicted people's attitudes toward work. Attitudes toward work predicted age and life perceptions. Age and life perceptions predicted control. Control predicted social/policy influences, and finally social/policy influences predicted planned retirement age. Research limitations/implications - The main limitations of this study were that the authors tested a model based on self report data. Furthermore the data were correlational therefore they cannot make causal inferences. Practical implications - Work attitudes predict people's own perceptions of their life and age. And these are predictive of norms. Organizations need to consider people's perceptions of their work, if they are to retain workers past the normal retirement age. Implementing work practices/policies, e.g. flexible work, become key considerations for these organizations. Originality/value - The authors now have empirical support for the contention that norms are important for investigating the short term effects of lifting mandatory retirement, but also when considering the long term effects that changing mandatory retirement policies may have on individual's retirement timing. Furthermore, they have a more comprehensive model of retirement timing.

Suggested Citation

  • Amy M. Warren & E. Kevin Kelloway, 2010. "Retirement decisions in the context of the abolishment of mandatory retirement," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 286-305, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:31:y:2010:i:3:p:286-305

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Orley Ashenfelter & David Card, 2002. "Did the Elimination of Mandatory Retirement Affect Faculty Retirement?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 957-980, September.
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