Companies not Actively Pursuing Ways to Ease Boomer Brain Drain

June 26, 2008 ( - A recent study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) finds that most companies are not looking for ways to keep the accumulated knowledge of baby boomer employees under their wings.

The study found that 77% of responding organizations do not have a phased retirement program – allowing an employee who is approaching retirement to continue employment with a reduced workload. A small number of companies (10%) reported they are considering phased retirement options, according to a press release.

Sixty-eight percent of survey respondents said they do not have initiatives to encourage the retention of retirement-eligible employees and a significant number of those indicated that the subject has not even been addressed, or that they do not see it as an immediate priority. However, the release said, someone who does retire is often brought back: 62% of survey respondents say they rehire retired employees on a part-time basis.

Of the surveyed organizations that currently offer phased retirement options, half said they have a formal policy regarding the issue. Just two in 10 reported they feel their phased retirement programs are successful to a high extent, while more than two-thirds (67%) said they view their programs as successful to “some” extent or to a “moderate” extent.

“It’s remarkable that so few companies are proactively addressing retirement issues especially when you consider the wave of Baby Boomers who are almost eligible for retirement now.,” said Jay Jamrog, i4cp’s SVP of research, in the press release. “You would think that more companies would be paying attention to ways of capturing and keeping all that accumulated knowledge. Unfortunately, it appears most will probably not worry about it until the day they see it walking out the door for good.”

A recent study from Ernst & Young pointed out that phased retirement programs raise a host of HR and benefits issues with solutions that researchers admitted are still unclear (See Report: Employers Still Wrestling with Phased Retirement Issues ).