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Survey: Many Older Workers Prefer Phased Retirement

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NU Online News Service, March 22, 2004, 5:46 p.m. EST – Many older employees want to cut back on their hours instead of retiring completely.[@@]

Researchers at Watson Wyatt & Company, Washington, interviewed 1,000 workers and retirees between the ages of 50 and 70. The participants included full-time workers, workers in “phased retirement” arrangements and fully retired workers.

The researchers found that 63% of active workers hope to work part-time before they retire completely and another 48% would like to work more flexible hours.

Many retirees who shifted from working full time to a phased retirement said they did so mainly because they enjoy the work. Retirees who ended up in phased retirement arrangements after sampling full retirement were more likely to say that they returned to work because they need the income.

Employers forced about 10% of the workers in phased retirement arrangements into phased retirement by eliminating their “career jobs,” and 63% of those workers said they continue to work because they need the money.