About 13 million Americans will reach retirement age by 2024, but that doesn’t mean these people will decide to leave their work and actually retire.
This new reality is something employers — 83% of whom have a significant number of employees approaching retirement age, according to a recent Willis Tower Watson survey — are struggling with, as a growing number of their older workers are staying on the job long past 65.
According to the same survey, 80% of employers see older workers as integral to the success of the company, but only 53% are aware of when their employees are planning to retire and only 25% have a plan to manage the timing of employee retirement.
The challenges here are supporting these older workers as they find themselves in a time of transition. Perhaps some older workers are truly focused on continuing their careers and not interested in retirement, while others may find themselves in a place of financial pressure to continue saving. The good news is that your benefits client employers have an opportunity to assist both of these groups of employees, and ultimately demonstrate the importance of talent to their organizations.
The method in this case is helping employees to understand their options by providing them with valuable decision support tools. How does an employer begin this process? Here are three steps:
1. Evaluate company demographics.
Having data on how many workers are at or nearing retirement age will lay the foundation for creating an effective retirement plan for your whole organization.
2. Provide a wider selection of benefits.
Allowing employees to choose the benefits that meet their own needs can lower employer benefits costs and provide individualized coverage. Employers should understand that as employees age, their benefits’ needs change. A benefits plan that evolves with employees can help smooth the transition to retirement. One example of this is beginning education about the value of Medicare with the help of specialized assistance. For some employees, Medicare may be a better alternative at age 65, and provide them with savings to invest in their retirement, rather than coverage through their employer plan.