Satisfaction with early retirement: Making choices in the auto industry

Melissa A. Hardy, Jill Quadagno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


In recent decades, the expanded availability of early retirement incentive plans has allowed an increasing number of workers to retire at an age younger than normally allowed by their pension plans. On the surface, these retirement incentives appear to offer older workers more flexibility in deciding when to retire. However, the offer of early retirement incentives frequently occurs when employers are attempting to reduce employment; therefore, the opportunity for early retirement may be counterbalanced by downsizing goals that place older workers’ continued employment in jeopardy. Early retirement incentive programs are thereby characterized by an unusual combination of inducement and coercion. In this study, we examined how the structure of the early retirement program shapes the way older male auto workers evaluate their retirement transitions. We conclude that the structure of the early retirement program, the timing of the retirement decision, and job security are important in framing the retirement transition and in distinguishing levels of satisfaction with the retirement experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S217-S228
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume50 B
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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