Execs Not Ready to Retire

May 3, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - More than four in 10 global executives recently polled have no plans to turn in their keys to the C-suite when they hit 64 years old.

In fact, according to the latest Executive Quiz from search firm Korn/Ferry International, 15% of the nearly 2,000 executives surveyed said they plan to keep coming to work even after they turn 70 years old.

According to the poll results , 29% of the executives said they would stop work between ages 64 and 69 while 28% put the time frame between ages 60 and 64. Some 19% said it would be 55 to 59.

Additionally, a majority (62%) of executives say they are going to keep working longer than they had planned three years ago; six in 10 said their employers don’t have adequate retirement benefit programs.

“The economic downturn of the past several years has clearly put strains on the retirement savings of all types of employees, including executives,” said Charles Wardell III, managing director and head of the Northeast region for Korn/Ferry International, in the statement. “We believe, however, there are additional motivations prompting executives to postpone retirement beyond the traditional age. The baby boomer generation is known for its work ethic – and many are simply not ready to slow down, especially as the average life span continues to increase. While this won’t solve the pending demographic shortfall of talent, it will provide organizations with more opportunity to leverage senior talent and migrate institutional knowledge to younger workers.”

The Executive Quiz also examined the issue of knowledge management and how companies are preparing for the imminent retirement of tens of millions of baby boomers in the coming decade. Less than half (41%) of respondents believe their employers are “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about the potential for losing critical knowledge as baby boomers retire. Additionally, 21% say their company is actively taking steps to retain critical knowledge that might otherwise be lost as boomers retire.

Some 43% said their companies are identifying critical knowledge issues to get ready for the boomer retirement wave while just under a third (31%) had set up mentoring programs to encourage knowledge transfer to younger workers and 18% were encouraging older workers to continue working part time or to consult.