Executives May Be Rethinking Retirement

February 21, 2013 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Some executives dreaming of their golden years are unsure when those years will actually start, a survey found.

More than a third (38%) of chief financial officers (CFOs) said they are more uncertain now about when they are going to retire than they were five years ago, according to a survey by Robert Half Management Resources. Another 13% mentioned that their expected retirement plans have changed compared to five years ago.

CFOs were asked, “How, if at all, have your retirement plans changed in the last five years?” Their responses were: 

  • Retirement plans are unchanged49%;
  • I am more uncertain and cannot predict when I will retire38%;
  • I plan to spend more time working than I did five years ago7%; and
  • I plan to spend fewer years working than I had intended five years ago6%.

Economic trends and personal demands are among the reasons many executives are re-examining their retirement plans, according to Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half. “A growing number of professionals nearing the traditional retirement age are exploring project and part-time work so they can continue their careers while gaining the flexibility to gradually transition into retirement,” McDonald said. 

“Employers can accommodate seasoned employees who want to ease into retirement by enhancing succession planning efforts and offering consulting opportunities,” McDonald said. “This allows firms to retain legacy expertise and transfer knowledge from departing executives to future company leaders.” 

The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources. It was conducted by an independent research firm by telephone with 1,400 CFOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.