Are you doing enough to support your older workers who are preparing for their retirement? Check out this great column by Marlene Y. Satter from Benefits Pro on how employers are hurting their employees by not offering a flexible retirement plan.

They may think they’re supportive of their older employees, but employers are actually failing them by not supporting flexible retirement— and by not supporting workers’ ability to retire.

So says All About Retirement, An Employer Survey,a study from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, which finds that 69 percent of employers believe most of their employees could work to age 65 and not save enough to meet their retirement needs. In addition, 72 percent of employers believe that many of their employees expect to work past age 65 or do not plan to retire.

Employees, for their part, stay in the workplace thanks to their main motivations: income and benefits. To a lesser extent, some stay because they enjoy what they do. But even so, the report says, “many of today’s workers also envision a flexible transition into retirement, for example, by reducing hours or working in a different capacity.” But in many workplaces, that’s not happening.

Just 27 percent of employers, for instance, encourage workers to participate in succession planning, training and mentoring as they approach retirement.

Not exactly good news. Nor are these responses from the more than 1,800 for-profit employers with five or more employees: Only 39 percent of employers offer pre-retirees flexible schedules, while even fewer enable them to shift from full time to part time (31 percent) or take on positions that are less stressful or demanding (27 percent). They also don’t support employees’ desire to downshift, despite recognizing their desire to do so.

Yet 71 percent consider themselves to be “aging-friendly” by offering opportunities, work arrangements, and training and tools needed for employees of all ages to be successful.

There’s a disconnect between intent and what actually happens to their employees. A substantial 27 percent of employers cited one or more employment-related reasons as common causes for employees recent retirement that have nothing to do with an employee’s willingness or readiness to retire. Those include organizational changes (15 percent), layoff or termination (12 percent), and/or taking a retirement buyout/incentive (11 percent).

Then there’s ageism. While the vast majority of employers cite positive perceptions of older workers, not all are so positive. In fact, 59 percent of employers cited negative perceptions of employees 50 years old and older, including higher health care costs (35 percent), higher wages and salaries (29 percent), and higher disability costs (15 percent).

All isn’t rosy when it comes to retirement benefits, either. Despite knowing that workers are having a hard time saving enough to retire, among employers who currently offer retirement benefits, many don’t extend eligibility to part-time employees and many aren’t using automated plan features, such as automatic enrollment and the Roth 401(k) option. Also, despite plan sponsors’ emphasis on helping their employees’ save for retirement, “strikingly few” offer assistance to pre-retirees on managing their savings when getting ready to retire.

The report says, “Employers know that employees place importance on nonretirement employee benefits that could help improve or protect their financial security (e.g., health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, employee assistance programs, workplace wellness and financial wellness programs, long-term care insurance and others). However, the survey finds the level of perceived importance exceeds employers’ actual offering of such benefits.”

See the original article Here.


Satter M. (2017 August 6). Employers failing workers on flexible retirement [Web blog post]. Retrieved from address