In a press release The Democratic Party of Wisconsin said the bill addresses the problems faced by those who want to continue working and by businesses who want to retain the experience of older workers as the workforce is drained by the 77 million baby boomers approaching retirement age.
According to the release, The Older Worker Opportunity Act of 2005, co-sponsored by Senator Richard Durbin (D-Illinois), would:
- establish a tax credit to employers who offer flexible or phased work to older workers and protect them from health insurance or pension loss
- extend COBRA health coverage for older workers who lose health coverage due to reduction in work hours
- provide a tax credit for the eldercare of a loved one
- improve access to employment and training services funded under the Workforce Investment Act
- create a Federal Task Force on Older Workers through the Department of Labor in order to examine additional barriers faced by older workers and develop ongoing solutions that are helpful to both businesses and older workers.
During a hearing held by Kohl on the importance of older worker retention, the mental and physical benefits gained by continuing to contribute in the workforce, and barriers that make it difficult for older workers to work longer were discussed. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin said the Act addresses these issues.