Employers Will Have Good Reason to Retain Older Workers

Employers will have good reason to retain older workers, due to the growing skill gap opened up by retirements, concludes a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

Employers continue to face the prospect of a greater percentage of their workforce approaching retirement age. Workers between the ages of 55 and 74 make up about three-quarters of the white-collar workforce, the report finds. Pending retirements almost certainly will result in a critical reduction in experienced workers in those professions.

Workers without a college degree most often cite health, finances, and lay-offs as the most important factors constraining the timing of their retirement. Lifestyle considerations were most important to older workers with a college degree. For example, some older workers said that the desire to have flexibility and control over their time influenced their retirement decisions.

The report encourages employers to plan for the future. Strategies to help retain older workers include flexible or reduced hours, mentoring, training and phased retirement.
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