Thursday, January 27, 2011

United Kingdom: Employers Need To Plan for Effect of Aging Population on Workplace

A new discussion paper issued by Acas suggests that employers in the United Kingdom need to start planning now for the effects an aging population will have on the workplace. According to "The future of workplace relations--An Acas view," as more and more people live longer, workers will experience increased pressure as they juggle work with caring duties for elderly relatives, which in turn wil lead to an increase in requests for flexible working and part time hours to help meet eldercare as well as childcare responsibilities.

Among other things, the Acas paper explores the changes to the workplace over the next ten years and looks at the:
  • changing profile of the workforce;
  • fragmentation of the employment relationship;
  • employees experience at work;
  • future challenges for trade unions in the workplace;
  • the rise of rules, regulations, and individual litigation;new challenges in managing the workforce;
  • new channels for employee voice; and taking conflict seriously.
Source: Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) News Release (January 26, 2011)

Survey: CareerBuilder Finds More Workers over 60 Not Postponing Retirement

According to a survey by CareerBuilder, some mature workers are feeling more comfortable about retiring now compared to last year at this time, with 65% of workers age 60 and over saying they are putting off retirement because they can’t afford to retire financially, down from 72% last year.

In addition, the survey of 500 U.S. workers found that 28% of these mature workers plan to retire within the next two years, while 27% percent are planning to retire in three to four years, 18% in the next five to six years, and 16% in seven years or more. About 10% say they don’t think they’ll ever be able to retire.

Source: CareerBuilder Press Release (January 26, 2011)

Monday, January 24, 2011

EBRI Reports More U.S. Households At Risk of Running Short of Retirement Income

Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) has published an analysis showing that, depending largely on age and income, between 4% and 14% of Americans who otherwise would have had adequate income to cover basic expenses in retirement became "at risk" of running short because of the housing and financial crisis of 2008–2009. EBRI's Issue Brief "A Post-Crisis Assessment of Retirement Income Adequacy for Baby Boomers and Gen Xers" was designed to find out (1) what percentage of U.S. households became at risk and (2) of those who are at risk, what additional savings do they need to make each year until retirement age to make up for their losses from the crisis?

The EBRI report also provides additional percentages of compensation that various types of households will need to save each year until retirement age to have a 50%, 70%, or 90% probability of having sufficient retirement income to meet basic retirement expenditures and any uninsured health care costs for their full retirement. For example, the median percentage of additional compensation for Early Boomers wanting a 50% probability of retirement income adequacy are 3.0% of compensation each year until retirement age, to account for the financial and housing market crisis in 2008–2009.

Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute Press Release (January 20, 2011)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Conference: British Psychologists Report on Value of Older Workforce

At a British Psychological Society conference on Occupational Psychology, three papers were presented on research showing the benefits of an aging workforce:
  1. Chartered Health Psychologist Dr. Frances Reynolds investigated the impact that working till a later age could have on employees’ health and safety. Looking at the health and safety experiences of post-retirement age workers (age 60-91), Frances found that these older workers were highly engaged, experienced group who perceived themselves as unencumbered by the frailties traditionally associated with ageing. "Most described deriving physical and cognitive well-being from work; perceived few safety concerns; and believed that, by continuing working, they were maintaining their psychological and physical health."
  2. Chartered Occupational Psychologist Mr. James Bywater (SHL Limited) presented research on the expectations, aspirations, work style and capabilities of ageing employees. According to James, there "is an assumption that older workers are not as valuable as younger workers, but based upon the evidence of this initial study there is no reason to discount this group as valuable human resources for the future." In fact, James found evidence that "older workers are more conventional and have less desire to lead and to achieve career goals but this is parried by their conscientious, emotional stability and better social skills."
  3. Chartered Occupational Psychologist Dr. Sheena Johnson (Manchester Business School) investigated how the changing age demographic of workers may have implications for health and well-being of employees in service organisations. She found that older employees experienced fewer negative customer behaviours and were more diplomatic and better at keeping calm. "Overall being older and more experienced meant they were better at dealing with customers varied needs."
Source: British Psychological Society Press Release (January 14, 2011)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Study: Older Workers and Their Difficulties with Unemployment

Two reports issued by the Urban Institute show that workers age 50 and older were less likely than their younger coworkers to lose their jobs but took longer to find work when they became unemployed, and that, in the decade ending in 2007, age often shielded workers from layoff because older workers generally had more seniority than their younger counterparts.

According to the first report, a Program on Retirement Policy publication--"Can Unemployed Older Workers Find Work?"--by Richard Johnson and Janice Park, workers age 50 to 61 employed in the second half of 2008 stood a 6.1% chance of losing their jobs within 16 months, compared with 9.3% for those age 25 to 34--a 34% advantage. Between mid-2008 and the end of 2009, the likelihood of finding a new job within 12 months was only 18% for laid-off workers 62 and older, half the 36% rate registered by workers 25 to 34. For workers 50 to 61, the reemployment rate was 24%.

In the companion report--"Age Differences in Job Loss, Job Search, and Reemployment," Johnson and Corina Mommaerts showed show that, in the decade ending in 2007, age often shielded workers from layoff because older workers generally had more seniority than their younger counterparts. However, men age 50 to 61 who had the same service record as men age 25 to 34 were 24% more likely to lose their jobs. Older women were just as likely to lose their jobs as younger women with similar job tenure.
"Not only can job loss have devastating consequences in the short run, but it also upends retirement savings, especially for older workers," says Johnson, who directs the Urban Institute’s Program on Retirement Policy. "Their financial security hinges on a solid employment record right up to retirement."
Source: Urban Institute Press Release (January 12, 2011)