A life course perspective on working beyond retirement-results from a longitudinal study in the Netherlands

Astrid de Wind, Suzan van der Pas, Birgitte M. Blatter, Allard J. van der Beek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Background: There is a societal need that workers prolong their working lives. By adopting a life course perspective, this study aimed to investigate the influence of work motives and motivation, health, job characteristics, skills, and financial and social situation on working beyond retirement, and differences between 'on time' and 'off time' retirees (retirement age 65 and <65 years, respectively). Methods: Retirees aged 57 to 67 years (N = 1,054) who participated in the Dutch Study on Transitions in Employment, Ability and Motivation were included in this study. Participants filled out a questionnaire in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. Predictors of working beyond retirement were identified using logistic regression analyses, and stratified analyses were performed to investigate differences between 'off time' and 'on time' retirees. Results: High work engagement (OR = 1.3), good physical health (OR = 1.8), poor financial situation (OR = 2.4), and voluntary work (OR = 1.5) predicted working beyond retirement. For 'off time' retirees, no financial possibility to retire early (OR = 1.8) and not having a partner (OR = 1.9) predicted working beyond retirement. 'On time' retirees reporting more support at work (OR = 0.7) and without the financial possibility to retire early (OR = 0.5), worked beyond retirement less often. Conclusions: The results indicated that especially the motivation to work, physical health and the financial situation were the most relevant aspects with regard to working beyond retirement, which supports the idea that the principle of 'human agency' of the life course perspective is useful to understand factors that impact working beyond retirement. Most aspects of the life course principles of 'linked lives' and 'timing' seemed to be less relevant.
Original languageEnglish
Article number499
JournalBMC public health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2016


  • Ageing
  • Bridge employment
  • Employment participation
  • Predictor
  • Retirement

Cite this