Employers who offered a range of respectful exits to their older workers have achieved a variety of positive outcomes. The minority of employees who have such options experience many benefits. If these practices occurred more widely, the larger society could record gains as well.

Employer gains include:

  • Retention of highly valued employees 55+
  • Capture of unique, hard-to-replace knowledge
  • Enhanced mentoring, development efforts
  • Focus of pre-departure employees on high value work
  • Reduced payroll costs
  • Enhanced collaboration skills

Older Worker gains include:

  • Extended work life and income
  • Enhanced pension contributions
  • Continued engagement, contribution, and satisfaction
  • Role in knowledge transfer, mentoring
  • Healthy means of easing into retirement

Societal benefits could be:

  • Enhanced physical and mental health of those spared sudden termination
  • The opportunity to restore Recession-ravaged savings and avoid impoverishment
  • Continued employee contributions to Social Security and Medicare taxes
  • A positive impact on pervasive age-based assumptions and discrimination
  • Support for this “care-giving cohort” to privately assist their spouses and elders

“Most employers GAO interviewed who reported having phased retirement programs found them beneficial.”

2017 GAO report on Phased Retirement

“This option makes me more loyal to [my employer], and it makes me feel more valued.”

A phasing retiree