Purpose: Whilst the population continues to age, the European Union defined key policies to increase labor market participation among older workers. Previous research investigated innumerous factors that can influence workers’ retirement timing (Fisher, Chaffee, & Sonnega, 2016; Wang & Shultz, 2010). However, the role of the organizational context has not been fully explored. Therefore, this study examines the influence of perceived age-diversity practices on work engagement that, in turn, impact on the preference for early or late retirement. We also investigate the moderator role of work centrality in the relationship between age-diversity practices and work engagement.
Methodology: A sample of 263 Portuguese workers, aged between 50 and 80 years (M = 55.17, SD = 4.70), completed a questionnaire with an online and a paper version. The moderated mediation hypothesis was tested by Multiple Linear Regression and conditional process modeling using the PROCESS macro for SPSS (Hayes, 2018).
Results: The results supported the hypothesis, suggesting that age-diversity practices were linked with increased work engagement, which in turn was linked with the preference to retire later. The relationship between age-diversity practices and work engagement was moderated by work centrality: as work centrality decreased, this relationship became more important. Also, the positive indirect effect of age-diversity practices on the preference for retire later is greater the less the work centrality.
Limitations: This cross-sectional study focuses on organizational-related variables, not considering other variables that can influence workers’ retirement preferences.
Research/Practical Implications: Age-diversity practices are an important strategy to motivate workers to retire later.
Originality/Value: This study focuses on the organization’s potential role in extending older workers careers, by highlighting the relevance of age-diversity practices.