Most employers today are trying to keep their older employees rather than replace them with younger, less expensive people, says a study released by the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute Tuesday.
Ninety-two percent of employers surveyed for the survey are taking steps to keep older employees, says LIMRA. The survey included 809 U.S. employers with 10 or more employees and a 401(k) retirement savings plan.
Two-thirds offer flexible hours and 42 percent offer flexibility on where employees work. Other benefits include job training and job sharing programs.
Employers say a mature workforce is good for business, the survey says. Eight in 10 employers say organizations lose experience, institutional knowledge and leadership when an older worker leaves.
As the baby boom generation continues to age, the numbers of workers in their 50’s and 60’s keeps growing, says LIMRA. U.S. Department of Labor figures show a 20-year trend where the percentage of workers age 55 and older grew from 12 percent in 1992 to 21 percent in 2012. In that same period, the percentage of workers age 16 to 54 declined 8 percent. Projections for 2022 suggest workers age 55 and older will grow to one fourth of the U.S. labor force.
As health-care benefits costs continue to rise, half of the employers say they will absorb the costs and 40 percent say they will pass the cost increases to employees.
Ninety percent of the employers surveyed say they are interested in 401(k) plans that help employers manage and retain older workers and 70 percent say they look to their plan providers for guidance on how to transition workers into retirement.