SURVEY SAYS: Employees Delaying Retirement

Studies show many retirement plan participants are planning to delay retirement to make sure they don’t outlive their savings.

Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Do you plan to delay your retirement? Are employees in your company delaying retirement, and what effect is this having on your company?”

The majority (69.8%) of respondents work in a plan sponsor role, while 16.3% are TPAs/recordkeepers/investment managers, 11.6% are advisers/consultants, and 2.3% are attorneys.

Of responding readers, 46.5% said they plan to delay their own retirement, 44.2% said they do not plan to delay retirement, and 9.3% do not know. Asked whether employees in their company are delaying retirement, 61.9% said ‘yes,’ 21.4% said ‘no’ and 16.7% said they do not know.

The effect of employees delaying retirement is not all bad for companies, as 65.6% of respondents said they are retaining important knowledge and skill sets, and 43.7% indicated they are retaining engaged and productive workers. One reader commented, “The company is MUCH stronger by having employees delay retirement. We currently have four employees with over 50 years with our (small 47-person) company!”

However, 28.1% of responding readers did say they are unable to hire fresh new talent, with one reader saying younger employees are not able to move up, so they are leaving the company. Also, 28.1% of respondents indicated their company’s health benefit costs are increasing due to an aging workforce, 12.5% said overall productivity is declining and 15.6% reported that they are unable to reduce compensation costs, pension and 401(k) or 403(b) plan contributions. Slightly more than 6% of respondents said they are not experiencing any of these effects of employees delaying retirement.

Among the comments left by some readers, a few have the benefit of a defined benefit plan and don’t plan to delay retirement: “DB, baby! No stoppin’ me…bring it on!” Others pointed out that the notion of delaying retirement can mean different things. One reader is participating in a phased retirement and another says his/her company needs to facilitate phased retirement. Some indicated their retirement will be associated with when they can receive their maximum Social Security benefit, and others say they’ll continue working because they love it. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “I’d like to work as long as I feel I am able to be an asset to the company. I really do love my job and my work, except of course, when I hate it.”

A big thank you to all who participated in the survey!


I may still work part-time, because I like to keep busy and enjoy my work -- plus the extra money pays for extra travel.

DB, baby! No stoppin' me...bring it on!

I'm more worried about my mind than my finances in retirement.

All about economics

Our company thrives on the historical perspective that only long term employees can offer. They can stay as long as they want -- we are much better and stronger because of them.

The feedback we get attributes delayed retirement more to the cost of pre-Medicare health insurance rather than to inadequate savings.

There needs to be a method established by my employer to encourage folks to phase into retirement. Just walking out the door is too scary to most folks.

I want the max Social Security benefit in addition to my employer provided retirement, so if am able and if my employer continues to employ me, I plan to work until age 70.

The DB plan formula was cut back twice and eventually frozen. Each cutback added 5 years to my working lifetime.

We have a defined benefit plan that most older employees are truly benefitting from in addition to a 401(k) that has been in existence since 1999. The defined benefit fund was frozen to new participants since 2009.

I've already delayed my retirement, 70 and still working. Retirement is a mixed bag in my company, some early and some late. It depends on whether they are still enjoying working.

Verbatim (cont.) 

If we consider anything beyond age 65 as delayed retirement, then many of our team members are considering this. But given the overall good health of these individuals, their ability to stay productive and engaged, I would not consider this delayed retirement even if the calendar might indicate otherwise. To me, delayed retirement occurs when the individual is no longer engaged and productive but still coming to work. Thankfully we don't have those employees here.

I have been very fortunate to work in the retirement industry for my entire career. This has allowed me to understand the importance of saving and I will now be retiring at 55. I don't think this would be true if I worked in another industry and did not have the knowledge gained by being in this industry.

We've actually had some retirement incentives to reduce costs and create opportunities for others.

I am in a constant state of delay. Every day that I work is another delay. Retirement isn't just calling my name... It's calling me "Baby!"

I may work until or a bit beyond my Social Security retirement age. I'm not sure that I consider that delaying retirement, but it will be beyond the somewhat accepted normal retirement age of age 65.

"Delaying" retirement can be interpreted in more than one way. If normal retirement age is 65, but I would like to retire at 60, if I wait to 62, is that delaying it? Or is it only delaying it if I wait until after 65? I'm 57 and would like to retire today, but I'm going to wait 4 more years to build a better cushion. Our assets are in good shape, but the cost of medical care is a big unknown.

I'd like to work as long as I feel I am able to be an asset to the company. I really do love my job and my work, except of course, when I hate it.

I have decades to go before retirement, but I've accepted that I'll have to work past 65. My target retirement date is my SSNRA...even if that ends up being later than it is today.

My boss is 67 and the person I was hired to replace a year ago is 74 and has no intention of retiring anytime soon. I'm 55, have more than enough money saved for retirement, and plan to retire this year still. They will be stuck with all the old people who like doing things manually.


NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Asset International or its affiliates.