Thursday, May 01, 2008

Legislation Introduced in U.S. Senate To Expand Opportunities for Older Workers

Senators Gordon H. Smith (R-OR), Herb Kohl (D-WI), and Kent Conrad (D-ND) have introduced the "Incentives for Older Workers Act," which is designed to provide incentives and eliminate barriers for older Americans wishing to stay in the workforce longer, and encourage employers to recruit and retain older workers.
"This legislation confronts the changing face of retirement. The divide between working and retirement is no longer the bright line it once was. Many workers stay on the job longer, not just because they have to but also because their employers want them to stay," Senator Conrad said. "“What we offer in the Incentives for Older Workers Act would make sure older employees who want to cut back their work schedules won't lose pension benefits as a result."
The proposed legislation (S. 2933, text not yet available) would, among other things:
  • remove penalties in certain pension plans for workers who phase into retirement by receiving a lower salary while working reduced hours;
  • allow seniors to earn delayed retirement credits for Social Security purposes for an additional two years until age 72, instead of age 70;
  • reduce the amount of Social Security benefits lost to seniors who claim benefits before reaching normal retirement age and while they continue working;
  • require states to include older worker representatives on the state and local workforce investment boards and set aside five percent of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funds to assist older individuals.
Source: U.S. Senate Select Commitee on Aging Press Release (April 29, 2008)

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