Purpose: Using the JD-R model as a theoretical framework, this longitudinal study aimed to investigate how job demands and job resources affect older employees’ desired retirement age, through an energy-depletion and a motivational process. Furthermore, the importance of gain and loss cycles (i.e. recursive effects) for the desired retirement age was investigated.Design/methodology/approach: A two wave full panel design with 2,897 older employees (> 50) served to test the hypotheses. Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling were used to test the measurement and research model. Cross-lagged analyses tested the presence of gain and loss cycles.Findings: Results from cross-lagged analyses based on two waves over a 1-year period indicated the presence of both a gain and a loss cycle that affected the desired retirement age. Research limitations/implications: This is the first longitudinal study applying the JD-R model to a retirement context. Limitations relate to employing only two waves for establishing mediation, and using self-reports. Practical implications: Because work conditions can create a cycle of motivation as well a cycle of depletion, organizations should pay special attention to the job resources and demands of older workers. Our findings can inspire organizations when developing Active Aging policies, and contribute to interventions aimed at maintaining older employees within the workforce until – or even beyond – their official retirement age in a motivated and healthy way.
- Job Demands-Resources model
- Conservation of Resources theory
- desired retirement age
- emotional exhaustion