For decades, age bias, old habits and mythical barriers have blocked companies from offering, and aging employees from seeking more respectful exits from their current workplaces. These common challenges can and must be overcome.

Fear of discrimination   Leaders worry that creating different exit options may lead to dissatisfaction and, potentially, lawsuits

Benefit barriers   Many companies believe pension restrictions and other complexities cannot be overcome, despite major pension changes

Part-time = reduced value   A common belief exists across employers that reduced schedules mean a net loss in contribution, especially as employees age

Manager overload   The assumption exists that many managers lack the skill and judgment to make sensitive decisions and manage the outcomes

Fragile knowledge sharing   The potential transfer of unique knowledge from older workers is easy to claim, but has often failed in practice

Employee hesitation   Where there is no policy or practice of flexible work or gradual retirement, employees are reluctant to propose and persist in requesting choice

“Employers we interviewed said they overcame the challenges of managers’ concerns about working with a phased retirement program in ways that worked for each individual organization.”

2017 GAO report on Phased Retirement