Retiring Later

Over the last 30 to 40 years, the U.S. has seen two trends that have led people to want to stay in the workforce past the traditional retirement age of 65.

The first is that people are living longer and are more capable of continuing to work in their 60s.  The second is the decline of defined benefit pension plans and the rise of 401(k)s, as many people do not save nearly as much in their retirement accounts as they should.

Adjusting to these factors has been difficult both for the employees who want to or need to continue working and the companies that employ them, as the Washington Post reports in “Retirement, deferred: workers — and companies — grapple with a new reality.”

Some companies have created special programs for older employees that allow them to stay on the job and gradually wind down.  However, these programs are not as popular as many had hoped.  This is because employees fear that entering them will put them out of line for raises and many of the programs have fixed schedules under which employees must retire.

Other companies are attempting to better assist their employees with finances, either by offering retirement education or increasing the amount companies contribute to employees’ retirement accounts.

There is no simple solution to this problem.

Older workers would like to be able to retire.  Companies would normally prefer that their loyal employees have that option, so younger workers can rise up and take their places.

Reference: Washington Post (July 19, 2017) “Retirement, deferred: workers — and companies — grapple with a new reality.”

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