BACKGROUND: Western countries are experiencing an ageing and shrinking workforce in the eldercare sector. This study investigated whether 12 different work-related factors are associated with early retirement intentions of employees in the Danish eldercare sector. We tested whether three hypotheses explained the increase of early retirement intention: (i) high job demands (four factors) and low resources (four factors); (ii) low job attitude (three factors); and (iii) high physical strain (one factor). METHODS: We included 2444 employees (aged 45-57 years) from two waves (T1 and T2) from a prospective study. Multinomial logistic regression models showed whether 12 work-related factors (T1) were associated with early retirement intention (T2); very early retirement intention and early retirement intention vs. normal retirement intention. RESULTS: Only 14% of the participants wished to retire at the normal retirement age (65 years or older). High physical strain [hypothesis (iii)] and low and normal affective organizational commitment [hypothesis (ii)] were associated with very early retirement intention. None of the other work-related factors associated with early retirement intention. CONCLUSIONS: Future interventions should focus on reducing physical strain and increase or maintain affective organizational commitment among employees in the eldercare sector to postpone retirement.