Men and women expecting to work longer: Do changing work conditions matter?

Phyllis E Moen, Erik Kojola, Erin L. Kelly, Yagmur Karakaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigates the effects of an organizational flexibility/support initiative on Boomers' expectations of working longer. Most research on retirement planning is based on studies of earlier cohorts and may not capture the unique experiences of Boomers. We draw on U.S. data from the Work Family and Health Network's randomized control study of an organizational redesign (called STAR) that offers employees greater control over when and where they work and greater supervisor support for their personal lives to investigate its relationship to the subsequent retirement expectations of 287 Boomer professionals and managers aged 50-64 in an information technology (IT) division of a large Fortune 500 corporation. We use multinomial logistic regression to assess whether being randomized to the STAR treatment is associated with Boomers expecting a later age of retiring and of exiting the workforce, as well as their subjective assessments of the probability of their working for pay at ages 65 and 67. We find that STAR predicts Boomers' expectations of retiring later, but not expectations of age of exiting the workforce or of a postretirement encore job. Women respondents, working in the same IT jobs as men and with long tenure, nevertheless expect to retire earlier than their male colleagues. We draw on in-depth qualitative interviews to contextualize our results and promote understanding of how changes in the work environment might shape Boomers' expectations of retirement. Findings suggest that initiatives like STAR promoting greater control and support could help organizations retain their older professional (in this case, IT) workforces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-344
Number of pages24
JournalWork, Aging and Retirement
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was conducted as part of the Work, Family and Health Network (www.WorkFamilyHealthNetwork.org), which is funded by a cooperative agreement through the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (U01HD051217, U01HD051218, U01HD051256, U01HD051276), National Institute on Aging (U01AG027669), Office of Behavioral and Science Sciences Research, and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (U01OH008788, U01HD059773). Grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (R01HL107240), William T. Grant Foundation, Alfred P Sloan Foundation, and the Administration for Children and Families have provided additional funding. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of these institutes and offices

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