Most Employers Want to Keep Older Workers

par Andrew Rickard | August 14 2015 10:45AM

A study from industry research group LIMRA has found that 92% of employers are taking steps to help older employees stay on the job.

photo_web_1547In order to accommodate older workers, the study revealed that two thirds of employers in the United States offer flexible hours while 42% allow employees to work from home or other locations. Some companies have also introduced training programs and job sharing arrangements.

LIMRA says that employers are inclined to retain older workers because a more mature staff is good for business; about 80% of the firms surveyed said their organizations lose experience, institutional knowledge, and leadership when an older worker leaves.

As for why more older people want to stay employed, the study suggests it may be because healthier lifestyles are making it possible for Baby Boomers who enjoy their careers to remain working longer than previous generations. In other cases, it may simply be due to the fact that employees have not enough saved enough and need to stay on the job longer in order to make up for their financial shortfall.

"These shifts in the labor force affect a company’s benefit plan design. Among the challenges cited by employers were increased healthcare benefits costs. Half said they plan to absorb the costs into the business while 4 in 10 will pass on cost increases to employees," notes LIMRA. "While employers need to have competitive benefits for all ages, 9 in 10 are interested in plan design to manage retirement and retention of older workers. Seventy percent of employers also said they look to their plan provider for guidance on how to transition workers into retirement. Half said they would depend on a plan advisor or consultant for this advice."