More and more companies are giving employees a choice in addition to continuing to work full-time or retiring full-time. The phased retirement plans allow a long-term employee to switch to part-time work. That allows the worker to ease in to retirement and maintain the structure and social contacts of work. It also lets the company keep an experienced employee and have him or her pass knowledge on to younger workers. This article presents data on how many more companies are offering this option and gives examples of different programs.
“There’s a need for more companies to do this if they want to preserve their best practices, innovations, and customer relations,” says Paul Irving, chairman of the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging. “And there’s receptivity among older workers, a majority of whom want to stay engaged and keep working, but in new ways.”
Phased retirement means different things at different companies. At Bon Secours, full-time employees of retirement age can switch to schedules of 16 to 24 hours a week. At First Horizon, employees within three years of retirement can reduce their schedules to 20 to 30 hours weekly if their duties can be performed in that amount of time, they’re willing to mentor successors, and they commit to staying on for one to three years.