Describes current strategies used by employers, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and the government to help attract and retain older workers and to facilitate their employment.
This report "describes current strategies used by the private, government, nonprofit, and education sectors to help attract and retain older workers. The findings indicate that as older adults are becoming an increasingly important labor source, employers are beginning to tailor their programming and services to individuals age 50 and older. Older workers typically bring maturity, dependability, and years of relevant experience to the workplace. For employers, the challenge is to develop workforce policies that appeal to older workers without sacrificing productivity. Therefore, employers may need to rethink traditional workplace practices to attract and retain older workers, many of whom are highly knowledgeable and skilled. Many states, local workforce agencies, community colleges, and advocates for adults are taking steps to educate employers on the value of hiring and retaining older workers in order to dispel the misconceptions that persist in the employer community" (Abstract). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Major Findings & Recommendations

- "Existing employer efforts to improve hiring and retention of older workers include creating flexible work arrangements and offering formal and informal phased retirement options" (p.ii). - "Flexible work arrangements may appeal to older adults who no longer wish to work traditional full-time schedules, either because of additional personal obligations (such as the need to care for aging parents or spouses or to help with grandchildren), worsening health, declining physical energy or stamina, or a preference to sacrifice some income for more control over their time without giving up paid employment entirely" (p.ii). - "Many workers prefer to phase into retirement gradually with their current employers instead of changing employers or moving directly from full-time work to full retirement. But traditional defined benefit (DB) plans inhibit these arrangements. Many older employees cannot afford to reduce their work hours unless they can draw on their retirement benefits, but federal law restricts employers’ ability to pay benefits from DB plans to workers who remain on their payrolls. However, the movement by many private employers from traditional DB plans to defined contribution retirement plans and hybrid plans (such as cash balance plans) that do not discourage work past the traditional retirement age should make phased retirement options easier to implement" (p.iii). - "Federal, state, and local governments, as well as nonprofit organizations and post-secondary educational institutions, help older workers find employment and secure job training and educate employers about the value of older workers. The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) adult and dislocated worker programs, delivered through a system of One-Stop Career Centers, and the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) are two of the federally funded programs that provide job search and readiness assistance to older workers" (p.iv). - "Many states, local workforce agencies, community colleges, and advocates for older adults have begun campaigns to educate employers and industry associations about the benefits of hiring and retaining older workers" (p.vi). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)