Purposes: Job lock (inability to leave a job due to financial or benefits needs) has been found to significantly restrict job mobility. However, it has not been studied in terms of inability to retire. This study evaluated the relationship between health, work environment, and retirement-related job lock in workers > or =55 with recent occupational injuries.
Methods: Workers completed a mailed, self-report survey about their pre- and post-injury health and functioning, work environment, and retirement plans. Bivariate and multivariate analyses determined those factors associated with retirement-related job lock.
Results: Over half of the respondents wanted to retire but could not because they needed job-related income or benefits. Factors associated with retirement-related job lock were indicative of poorer health and mental function and dissatisfaction with the workplace social environment. No injury-related factors were significant.
Conclusions: Retirement-related job lock was common in older workers with occupational injuries, and appears to be primarily due to difficulties at work, combined with health conditions that may impair work abilities. Workers wishing to retire but unable to do so may be at risk for work-related injuries, as well as decrements in work function and premature retirement resulting in insufficient income and health benefits.