Factors Contributing to Unexpected Retirement and Unemployment in Adults Over 50 Years Old in Ireland

Gerontol Geriatr Med. 2017 Jul 27;3:2333721417722709. doi: 10.1177/2333721417722709. eCollection Jan-Dec 2017.


Older adults are increasingly important to maintaining stable workforces. As such, factors contributing to early workforce exit must be identified. This study aimed to identify predictors of unexpected retirement and unemployment at older age, with respect to psychological constructs, resulting adverse behaviors, and health-related factors reflecting functional status. Data were extracted from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) to predict unexpected retirement and unemployment in older adults in Ireland. Increasing age, increasing number of impairments in activities of daily living, and frailty status of "pre-frail/frail" (relative to non-frail) increased the likelihood of unexpected retirement; while greater numbers of physical limitations and "pre-frail/frail" status significantly predicted unemployment at older age. Pre-frail/frail status or reduced physical capability for everyday tasks may adversely affect older individuals' ability to obtain and/or maintain employment. These findings advance the current understanding of factors associated with unexpected retirement and unemployment at older ages. Findings may aid in identifying strategies to extend working life and to aid at-risk older adults, and may inform components of care on which to focus to minimize loss of function and mobility, and maintain independence, with aging.

Keywords: older adults; unemployment; unexpected retirement; work.