Low wellbeing might contribute to taking earlier retirement. Retirees are also more likely to suffer low wellbeing in retirement if they have retired from more satisfying, prestigious, career occupations.
Evidence into action
- Employers and policy makers should consider how best to support individuals who are at risk of taking early retirement due to poor wellbeing. Organisations can also take a number of steps to promote employee wellbeing across the working life.
- An individual’s career or occupation is a key part of their identity and for those moving from prestigious careers the transition to retirement may be more difficult. Employers should therefore look at how they can plan retirement with workers. It may be worthwhile for individuals to move more gradually into retirement or take up non-paid roles that are linked to their professional career.
- There is potentially an important role to be played by third sector and charitable organisations that can offer roles for those retiring from their careers, who are likely have difficulty in adjusting to retirement.
Exploring the Evidence: Depression might contribute to early retirement
Some studies have identified an association with depression and increased likelihood of retirement. Further analyses in one study shows that when the sample is restricted to only those in full time employment, this association only holds for men, suggesting that this association for women is driven by those in part-time employment. This could be an indication that women who retire early due to depression were mostly working part-time, possibly because women with mental health problems or experiencing stress select into part-time work.