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The Baby Boomer Employee/Employer Disconnect

OntheClockOne of the issues I have explored in a number of posts is the disconnect between Boomer employees and employers when it comes to continued employment. Boomers who want to work past the previously accepted retirement age of 65 either face mandatory retirement or what they perceive as age discrimination. Those Boomers who would like to phase into part-time work may also find a lack of receptivity on the part of their employers.

One study suggests that at least some employers may be a bit more enlightened than others. The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies has been conducting a retirement survey of workers for sixteen years. The 15th Annual Survey report (December 2014) focused on perceptions of Baby Boomer workers and their employers. Over 1,800 Boomers and over 750 companies, both small and large, were surveyed.

According to the survey report, 65% of Boomer workers plan to work past age 65 or do not plan to retire at all. In addition, 68% see themselves phasing into retirement; they plan to either continue working but reduce their hours on the job, or work in a less demanding position. Only 21% plan to fully retire and stop working, while 12 percent are "not sure."

Employers claim to be far more supportive of Boomer workers than Boomers themselves may perceive. According to the survey report, "Eighty-eight percent of employers agree that they are supportive of their employees working past age 65 and delaying retirement, including 49 percent that 'strongly agree' and 39 percent that 'somewhat agree.' However, phasing out of full-time work is a different story: "Only 48 percent of employers have practices in place to enable shifting from full-time to part-time and even fewer (37 percent) allow taking on new positions that are less stressful or demanding."

Clearly, employers are generally sending a mixed message to Boomers; while employers are apparently happy to have Boomers continue on a full-time basis, less than half of employers facilitate a transition from full-time to part-time. Bottom line: There is still a disconnect between Boomer employees and employers, leaving millions of Boomer workers to sort things out on their own.

You can download the full survey report below.

Download TransamericaRetirementStudy-15


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