There is a tsunami of retiring Boomers.  10,000 will reach age 65 every day until 2030. Post-recession they need to work longer as savings will not support them into their 80s. We must end the century-old retirement age of 65 and stop discarding older workers. The imbalance between the demand for phasing into retirement and the supply seems frozen in place. This paralysis cannot continue. It is time for Respectful Exits.

Today’s Demand

  • U.S. Department of Labor: workers 55-and-older are the fastest growing segment of the American workforce
  • “64% of workers age 18-64 envision a phased transition into retirement”
  • Majority of employees age 50+ consider formal phased retirement “‘very” or “‘somewhat important’
  • 27% of Americans plan to “keep working as long as possible”
  • Another 12 percent say they don’t plan to retire at all

Today’s Supply

  • In 2016,11% of companies offer “informal phased retirement”
  • In 2016, 5% of companies offer “formal phased retirement”
  • Just 21% of workers say employers enable reduced work hours, shift from full-time to part-time

GAO Report

The Government Accountability Office is the audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of Congress. Its June 2017 report, Phased Retirement Programs, Although Uncommon, Provide Flexibility for Workers and Employers, found:

  • A quarter of full-time workers 61 to 66 planned a reduced transition to retirement, but fewer than 15 percent were able to do so
  • No representative data on phased retirement exist; GAO’s review of studies and expert interviews showed formal programs to be relatively uncommon
  • In one study, 71 percent of large employers said federal tax and age discrimination laws impact their ability to offer phased retirement programs
  • 8 of 9 employers with such programs that GAO interviewed were able to address all challenges, and achieve retention and knowledge transfer benefits

“Age discrimination is everywhere. I hear more examples of age discrimination than I hear about sex discrimination, racial discrimination and every other kind put together.”

Liz Ryan, Forbes Leadership columnist