With some of the institutional barriers that once prevented phased retirement disappearing, Kaja Whitehouse, of The Wall Street Journal, finds that even though "older workers want alternatives to traditional retirement, and many employers want to find ways to keep them working," serious impediments remain. Most importantly, for employees, "reducing work hours not only will result in lower pay, but also could eliminate access to health care, reduce pension distributions and take away other important benefits." In addition, according to a 2003 Cornell University study, most workers who want phased retirement must first obtain permission from their bosses, and Robert Hutchens, the study's author, suggests that few employers will offer formal programs that benefit all older workers. "The future will be a continuation of what's going on currently. . . There's a desire to make sure that, if there's going to be a phased retirement, it's going to be for the right person and for the right job."
Source: "Older workers find happy medium" Baltimore Sun (April 4, 2005)