Company-level determinants of disability retirement: a multilevel study of Finnish private sector workplaces

European Journal of Public Health | Volume 29 | Issue 6 | December 2019
Authors: Mikko Laaksonen, Juha Rantala, Jyri Liukko, Anu Polvinen, Jarno Varis, Meeri Kesälä, Susan Kuivalainen


We examined whether the risk for disability retirement varies between companies over and above the individual-level characteristics of their employees and which company-level characteristics are associated with the risk for any, full or partial disability retirement.

A 30% random sample of Finnish private sector companies with at least 10 employees was used (5567 companies and 301 313 employees). The risk for disability retirement over 6 years was analyzed using multilevel logistic regression. Company size and industry, as well as gender, age, education and social class measured both at the individual- and the company-level were used as explanatory variables.

3.8% of the variance in the risk for disability retirement was attributed to the company level after controlling for individual-level characteristics of the employees. Company-level variance was much larger in partial (11.7%) than in full (4.2%) disability retirement. After controlling for all individual- and company-level characteristics, those working in health and social work activities had increased risk for both full and partial disability retirement. The risk for full disability retirement increased by decreasing educational level of the company. The risk for partial disability retirement increased by increasing company size and was elevated in companies with the highest proportion of women.

After controlling for the individual-level characteristics, variation in the risk for disability retirement between companies was modest. The more substantial variation in partial disability pension suggests that companies have a marked role in advancing working with partial disabilities.

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