Sunday, March 06, 2005

Companies Worry About Potential Liabilities from Phased Retirement Plans

While many businesses welcome the chance to bolster their workforce as a result of federal government plans to ease phased retirement, they are worried about potential liability. According to a recent Employee Benefit News QuickPoll, 31% of respondents favored phased retirement, while 13% opposed it for fear of age-discrimination lawsuits, and 29% had mixed feelings. An article by Leah Carlson quotes Sylvester Schieber, vice president for research and information at the consulting firm Watson Wyatt, as saying that employers "have been agitating for some time that they be given greater flexibility" in making payments to people in partial retirement, but also that there "are legal concerns that the IRS is going to come back and perceive that somehow we're trying to skirt the suspension of benefits in the accrual rules under the pension plan, and that we might be discriminatory in terms of how we're doing this."

Source: "Phased retirement regulations draw mixed reaction from firms" Employee Benefit News (March 2005)

No comments: