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Boomer retirements are mixed blessings for employers

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Employers are seeing a bright and a dark side to boomer retirements – or the lack thereof. According to a story by the Wall Street Journal, the 44 percent of workers 50 or older who say they’re planning to put off retirement are protecting employers from “brain drain,” and allowing companies to plan for a transition to a new workforce. The paper quotes Robert Bell, assistant city manager in Redwood City, Calif.; “We have a little more time to plan for the departure of older workers and be more strategic in retraining or transferring their institutional knowledge,” he says.

On the other hand, more boomers in the office mean more workers on the payroll, something struggling companies have been trying to avoid.

“Some companies, like GM, are paying people to retire,” says William Byham, chief executive of Development Dimensions International Inc., a human-resources consulting firm based in Pittsburgh, told the Journal. Another strategy is to cut back on recruiting, but that has its drawbacks as well, Byham says, as new employees bring new ideas.


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