The changing retirement landscape calls on employers to develop practices that respond to individuals’ retirement needs. Line managers are a key stakeholder in managing retirement and this study focuses on how they respond to employee retirement scenarios. This empirical work examines manager openness to involvement in retirement, focusing on three sets of explanatory variables: manager psycho-social characteristics (experience of managing older workers, intention to work past 65), their decision-making environment (influence, discretion and decision-making support) and older employee situational factors (performance, ease of replacement, retirement affect and attitude to work). Data were collected from 129 managers in the United Kingdom's university sector using survey items and a factorial vignette design. The multi-level analysis found support for each category of variables in predicting manager openness to involvement in employee retirement. Managers with more experience of managing older workers were more likely to be open to involvement although managers’ own retirement intentions were not significant as a predictor. Decision-making environment variables were significant predictors of manager openness to involvement. The only older employee situational factor that was associated with manager openness to involvement was employee performance. Practically, organisations need to recognise the potential influence that managers have on employee retirement decisions and this study's findings show that managers may need training to help them understand their own role in supporting older employee retirement.