Employers and workers at odds over retirement preparation
- Employers and workers disagree over when people start preparing for retirement, according to a study by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS). The national study of U.S. employers and workers found that 72% of employers think workers don't think about retirement until their retirement draws near. Only 40% of workers reported that this is true.
- Other key results from the study found that 72% of employers think that offering a 401k or a similar retirement plan is important in attracting and retaining workers, while 81% of employees said retirement benefits make up a major portion of a job search. Most workers (66%) would like more help from employers in reaching their retirement goals, but only 52% of employers believe that to be the case.
- Most employers (70%) said they consider their workplace aging-friendly, but only slightly more than half of workers thought their workplace fit that description. The same amount of workers and employers (84%) said they associated at least one positive trait — like wisdom, knowledge and life experience — with workers aged over 50.
Employees look to employers for help with understanding their benefits, especially their retirement plans. Arranging for investment experts and financial specialists to speak with employees, either in person or electronically, could give them the assistance they want and need to prepare for life without work.
Offering older workers phase-in retirement can help them ease into retirement, while continuing to earn a wage. This work option can help organizations avoid "brain drain" — the loss of knowledge and experience older workers often take with them when they leave the workforce.
Ageism remains a problem in the workplace, with most claims involving discrimination in recruiting and hiring and termination, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). According to the TCRS study, just 23% of organizations have a formal diversity and inclusion (D&I) policy. Making sure D&I is central to an organization's culture can reduce the risk of violating the law, while ensuring that older workers have the same opportunities and advantages as all other employees.
As organizations become more multigenerational, employers must find ways to be a workplace of choice for its freshly graduated Gen Zers, its nearly retired boomers and every employee in between. TCRS recommends that employers offer career opportunities, work-schedule options, tools and training that suit workers of every age.
- Transamerican Center for Retirement Studies Striking Similarities and Disconcerting Disconnects: Employers, Workers and Retirement Security 18th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey