The Stickiness of Quality Work: Exploring Relationships Between the Quality of Employment and the Intent to Leave/Intent to Retire

  • Tay McNamaraEmail author
  • Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes


Just after the turn of the century, when the “leading edge” of the baby boomers approached the age of 65, there was an increase in the public attention devoted to the work and retirement intentions of older adults. Some experts voiced worries about the economic fragility of older Americans who might struggle to support their households with the conventional “three-legged stool” set of strategies (i.e., savings/investments, Social Security, and private pensions). In response, researchers began to take a serious look at the options and benefits associated with voluntary extension of the labor force participation of older adults. While the arguments for working longer are multi-faceted, there is wide recognition that older adults who are able to work past the normative retirement age (62–65 years) can benefit from the financial benefits offered by employment (both income and possible access to continued employer-sponsored benefits). In this chapter, we present an argument with supporting evidence that job quality affects older adults’ intentions with regard to their transitions into retirement. We found that, compared to employees who report that they intend to stay with their current employer “until they retire,” there are negative relationships between satisfaction with meaningful work as well as with compensation and the intent to leave before they retire (in the next 5 years).


Intent to retire Quality of employment Factors predicting retirement Aspects of work experience Employees’ reported well-being Temporal self-appraisal theory 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center on Aging & Work, School of Social WorkBoston CollegeChestnut HillUSA
  2. 2.Boston College School of Social WorkChestnut HillUSA

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