Increasing longevity and inadequate retirement savings have many employees planning to work past the traditional retirement age, either by choice or out of necessity.
Northwestern Mutual’s 2019 Planning & Progress Study found 46% of Americans expect to work past the traditional retirement age of 65. Nearly one out of five Baby Boomers (18%) and an equal percentage of Generation X (18%) expect to work even longer—past the age of 74. Of Americans who expect to work past age 65, 47% say it will be out of necessity.
Another study found women have lower retirement savings and are saving less than men, and more women than men report planning to retire later because they’ll need to.
Yet the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) continues to find age bias among employers. Most recently, it sued the State of New Mexico, Corrections Department (NMCD), alleging it discriminated against several employees by denying them promotions and job assignments as well as in other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of their ages, as well as suing Liberty Support Services, Inc. in North Carolina for laying off and not rehiring employees because of their age.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, the rest area attendants—all older than age 40—were laid off during renovations but were not told that they were being discharged. They expected to return to their jobs after the renovations were completed but learned they had been discharged and replaced with employees younger than age 40.A report by Victoria A. Lipnic, then acting chair of the EEOC, says age discrimination can thwart employees’ plans to work longer and could affect retirement plan drawdown strategies. During a hearing in 2017, witnesses made suggestions about how regulators and employers can reduce age discrimination and help people work longer.