Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Urban Institute Issues Policy Brief on How To Help Older Workers Find and Retain Jobs

The Urban Institute Retirement Policy Program and Health Policy Center has issued a policy brief to address the uncertain retirement future that older Americans are facing, focusing on policies needed to shore up Social Security and Medicare, get health care spending under control, and make staying in the labor force at older ages easier, while still protecting disabled workers.

According to "It’s Not Easy Being Gray: The New Rules of Retirement", the recession, changing mixes of retirement programs, and other changes are creating a retirement dilemma that will affect all Americans, not only those nearing retirement. "Workers will be expected to finance a large share of the bill for retirees: fixing government retirement programs could require higher tax burdens for everyone."

The Center convened a roundtable of experts in retirement, aging, health, and long-term care policy, who outlined a number of policy implications, including:
  • Because older adults will likely have to postpone retirement and work longer, public policies that encourage early retirement need to be rethought, like the Medicare secondary-payer rule that requires employers—not Medicare—to cover most health care costs for workers age 65 and older.
  • Older workers, especially low-income seniors, could benefit from employment services focused on connecting them to jobs and training.
  • Older workers may be more willing and able to stay employed if they could work flexible schedules, but since employers in a slow economy may not embrace such options as job sharing, extended leave, and phased retirement, the public sector could step in and take the lead.
  • More service providers will be needed as the nation grows older; for example, seniors aged 80 and older will need home care and other services that help them remain in their communities. Younger seniors in good health and with free time could be part of the solution, helping staff the jobs that serve the oldest old.
Source: Urban Institute Retirement Policy Program and Health Policy Center Abstract (February 17, 2009)

1 comment:

David Stillwagon said...

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David Stillwagon