Friday, August 01, 2008

Survey: More Companies Are Considering Implementing Phased Retirement Programs

A Hewitt Associates survey of more than 140 mid-size and large employers has found that 55% have already evaluated the impact that potential retirements could have on their organization and 61% have developed or will develop special programs to retain targeted, near-retirement employees. Even though only 21% believe that phased retirement is critical to their company's human resources strategy today, 61% believe so when looking ahead 5 years.
"With the rising tide of boomer retirees, employers will be losing key talent at a time when attracting and retaining skilled workers will be more important than ever," explained Allen Steinberg, a principal at Hewitt Associates. "At the same time, rising medical costs, lengthening life spans and the declining prevalence of traditional pension and retiree medical benefits mean that employees will either have to work longer, save more or live with significantly less than they are accustomed to. As these trends converge, we believe phased retirement programs will continue to become more attractive options for both employers and employees—they provide employers with new ways to retain critical talent and, at the same time, help employees meet their needs."
In addition, the survey finds that 72% of employers said that retaining the experience, knowledge and skills of older workers was the most important benefit to them in offering phased retirement programs. However, 65% said that offering part-time employment (on a year-round basis) represented one of the most effective ways of retaining near-retirement workers.

In addition to focusing on retention, 45% of the employers indicated they currently have policies in place that limit the ability to rehire retirees, but 46 % said they were likely to review their rehiring policies in the future.

Source: Hewitt Associates News Release (July 30, 2008)

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