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Intention to unretire: HR and the boomerang effect

Francine Schlosser (Odette School of Business, University of Windsor, Windsor, Canada)
Deborah Zinni (Brock University, St Catharines, Canada)
Marjorie Armstrong‐Stassen (Odette School of Business, University of Windsor, Windsor, Canada)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 18 May 2012




The purpose of this study is to identify antecedents of intentions to unretire among a group of retirees that included both those who had not returned to the workforce since their retirement and those who had previously unretired.


A cross‐sectional survey collected data from 460 recent retirees between the ages of 50 and 70.


Results of hierarchical regression indicated that retirees are more likely to remain retired if they feel financially secure and have a positive retirement experience. Conversely, they are more likely to intend to return to the workforce if they experience financial worries, wish to upgrade their skills or miss aspects of their former jobs.

Practical implications

Aging boomers who anticipate early retirement have created a dwindling labor pool. Simultaneously, the global pension crisis has impacted on the financial decisions of retirees. A trend to abolish mandatory retirement and/or increase mandatory age in various countries provides individuals with more freedom in their retirement decisions. Accordingly, managers must be creative in their HR planning strategies to retain or recruit skilled retirees.


Previous research has addressed retirement as a final stage, however, given simultaneous global demographic changes and economic concerns, this study provides new knowledge regarding the factors that push and pull retirees to participate in the labor market.



Schlosser, F., Zinni, D. and Armstrong‐Stassen, M. (2012), "Intention to unretire: HR and the boomerang effect", Career Development International, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 149-167.



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