Aging Boomers Require New Strategies

January 9, 2001 ( - With a growing number of boomers nearing retirement, employers are reevaluating strategies for managing the impact, according to a new study.

The survey, by HR consultant William M. Mercer, found that 83% of employers in higher education currently have at least one-fourth of their workers over age 50.

Government followed with 50%, manufacturing with 38%, not-for-profit service organizations 29%, and for-profit service organizations 12%.


While more than half (55%) of the survey respondents have no specific goals, multiple goals were cited by the remainder, including:

  • 30% who target retention efforts to workers with special expertise or who have a key relationship
  • 16% encourage all older workers to stay on
  • 10% enable early retirement
  • 7% target early retirees from other companies to fill open positions.

Of the 59% that reported having a policy on rehiring retirees:

  • 63% will rehire retirees as part-time or temporary workers (benefits-eligible if sufficient hours are worked)
  • 61% will rehire retirees as independent contractors or consultants (not benefits-eligible)
  • 24% will rehire retirees full-time after a waiting period
  • 15% maintain a pool of retirees for temporary work
  • 4% prohibit rehire of retirees.