Survey Says | Published in October 2016

Employees Delaying Retirement

Of responding readers, 46.5% said they plan to delay their own retirement

By Rebecca Moore | October 2016
Art by Eron Hare
Studies show that many retirement plan participants intend to delay retirement to make sure they do not outlive their savings. We asked NewsDash readers, “Do you plan to delay your retirement? Are employees in your company doing so, and what effect is this having on your company?”
Of responding readers, 46.5% said they plan to delay their own retirement, 44.2% said they do not plan to delay retirement, and 9.3% were unsure. Asked whether employees in their company are delaying retirement, 61.9% said “yes,” 21.4% said “no,” and 16.7% said they are unsure.
The effect of such employees staying is far from all bad for companies, as 65.6% of respondents said they are retaining important knowledge and skill sets, and 43.7% indicated they are retaining engaged and productive workers.
However, 28.1% of responding readers did say they are unable to hire fresh talent, with one reader saying younger employees are prevented from moving up and therefore leaving the company. Also, 28.1% of respondents indicated their company’s health benefit costs are increasing due to an aging work force, 12.5% said overall productivity is declining, and 15.6% reported they are unable to reduce compensation costs or pension, 401(k) or 403(b) plan contributions. Slightly more than 6% of respondents said they experience none of the aforementioned effects of employees delaying retirement.
As always, all verbatim responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not the stance of PLANSPONSOR and its affiliates at Strategic Insight.
“Our company thrives on the historical perspective that only long-term employees can offer. They can stay as long as they want—we are much better and stronger because of them.”
“There needs to be a method established by my employer to encourage folks to phase into retirement. Just walking out the door is too scary to most folks.”
“The DB [defined benefit] plan formula was cut back twice and eventually frozen. Each cutback added five years to my working lifetime.”
“I’ve already delayed my retirement: 70 and still working. Retirement is a mixed bag in my company, some early and some late. It depends on whether they are still enjoying working.”
“If we consider anything beyond age 65 as delayed retirement, then many of our team members are ‘considering’ this. But, given the overall good health of these individuals, their ability to stay productive and engaged, I would not consider this delayed retirement even if the calendar might indicate otherwise.”
“I have been very fortunate to work in the retirement industry for my entire career. This has allowed me to understand the importance of saving, and I will now be retiring at 55.”
“We’ve actually had some retirement incentives to reduce costs and create opportunities for others.”
And the Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said, “My boss is 67, and the person I was hired to replace a year ago is 74 and has no intention of retiring anytime soon. I’m 55, have more than enough money saved for retirement and plan to retire this year still. They’ll be stuck with all the old people who like doing things manually.”