Despite the popularity of early retirement schemes in the Netherlands, little attention has been paid to the factors underlying this phenomenon. In this article an initial step is taken towards a multivariate modelling of plans for taking voluntary early retirement of older employees. Data for this have been obtained from a survey conducted among civil servants eligible for early retirement. This analysis includes various aspects which could be related to retirement. It appears that the attitude towards work, health, expectations regarding the consequences of retirement with respect to the loss of income, self-esteem, the perceived (positive or negative) attitude of the partner are the main reasons for civil servants to retire early or not. In the last model, containing all independent variables, 25 percent of the variance can be explained.