Make us your home page
Working | Delaying retirement

Retirement in stages benefits both companies and employees

NEW YORK — Not ready to retire just yet? Consider asking your boss if you can work part-time or telecommute.

A study by Hewitt Associates found 61 percent of U.S. companies have or will develop programs that let workers retire in stages. The programs are intended to hold onto the experience of baby boomers, and ease the difficulty of replacing their skills. The study included 140 midsize and large-size companies.

"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," said Allen Steinberg, a principal at Hewitt Associates, a human resources consulting firm.

Retaining worker experience and skills was cited as the most important reason for offering such programs by 72 percent of companies.

Companies also said offering phased-retirement eases the difficulty of replacing talent, and helps with the transfer of key skills from experienced to inexperienced workers.

Still, although about half of the companies said that such programs are in place, only 5 percent said the programs were formalized.

"It's the type of situation where you wrap your arms around someone and make an ad hoc, one-on-one arrangement," Steinberg said.

Now that there's a great migration of baby boomers out of the work force, however, companies are realizing the need for a more systemic approach, Steinberg said.

Two-thirds of companies said offering part-time work year-round was the most effective way to keep workers who are near retirement. Another strategy was giving workers access to retirement benefits while still employed.

Some are even reconsidering policies that ban rehiring retirees, according to the Hewitt study.

Workers are more open to striking a deal, too.

Numerous studies have shown that longer lives and escalating costs mean workers aren't saving enough for retirement.

"We may be at a very opportune point where employer and employee interests are converging," Steinberg said.

A study in July by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found incentives such as flexible work arrangements, a bump in pay or even more meaningful work could convince workers to delay retirement. The study looked specifically at aerospace and defense industry workers.

Sixty-one percent of retirees in the study said they would have been open to delaying retirement, but only 26 percent said they were approached by employers to do so.

Retirement in stages benefits both companies and employees 08/21/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 1:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. New owners take over downtown St. Petersburg's Hofbräuhaus


    ST. PETERSBURG — The downtown German beer-hall Hofbräuhaus St. Petersburg has been bought by a partnership led by former Checkers Drive-In Restaurants president Keith Sirois.

    The Hofbrauhaus, St. Petersburg, located in the former historic Tramor Cafeteria, St. Petersburg, is under new ownership.

  3. Boho Hunter will target fashions in Hyde Park


    Boho Hunter, a boutique based in Miami's Wynwood District, will expand into Tampa with its very first franchise.

    Palma Canaria bags will be among the featured items at Boho Hunter when it opens in October. Photo courtesy of Boho Hunter.
  4. Gallery now bringing useful art to Hyde Park customers


    HYDE PARK — In 1998, Mike and Sue Shapiro opened a gallery in St. Petersburg along Central Ave., with a majority of the space dedicated to Sue's clay studio.

     As Sue Shapiro continued to work on her pottery in St. Petersburg, her retail space grew and her studio shrunk. Now Shapiro's is bringing wares like these to Hyde Park Village. Photo courtesy of Shapiro's.
  5. Appointments at Raymond James Bank and Saint Leo University highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers



    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Jackson will oversee all of Raymond James Bank's operational business elements, risk management and strategic planning functions. Kackson joins Raymond James Bank after senior …

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. [Company handout]