Purpose: the relation between effort-reward imbalance and expected age of retirement and the mediating role of job satisfaction. Furthermore, we analyse this relation for the demographic subgroups of relatively younger and older workers as well as low- and high educated workers. Moreover, we investigate the separate effects of the subcomponents of the ERI model in order to clarify the relations.

Data and method: The data used in this research is obtained from the 2012 ROA Public Sector Employee Survey. The final sample includes 3,259 observations of workers in the Dutch public health care sector. The mediating relation is estimated using OLS regressions.

Results: The analyses indicated a significant and negative relation between effort-reward imbalance and retirement expectations. We find that this relation is fully mediated by job satisfaction. Additional analyses show that we find that the subcomponent of overcommitment has a main effect in the relation between effort-reward imbalance and expected age of retirement. Furthermore, we find that the findings apply for relatively older opposed to younger workers, while no significant differences are found between low and high educated workers.

Contributions: This thesis adds to the abundant retirement literature focusing on financial incentives by investigating the role of work stress in the form of effort-reward imbalance.Furthermore, it contributes to the small amount of literature that applies the ERI model outside the health-related context. Moreover, the analyses on different subgroups in the data shows the importance of demographic characteristics in this relation. Finally, I add to the literature investigating the subcomponents of the ERI model while analysing their relation to retirement expectations.

Policy implications: Policy makers concerned with keeping older workers engaged in the
workforce are advised to focus on interventions aiming at decreasing effort-reward
imbalances at work. In particular, attention should be addressed to (re)storing the balance between workers’ efforts and rewards and to decreasing their levels of overcommitment.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is een denktank en kennisnetwerk. Netspar is gericht op een goed geïnformeerd pensioendebat.

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