- A phased retirement option allows full-time employees to work part-time while also beginning to take some retirement benefits.
- For older workers who want to and can retire from the workforce, an abrupt full stop might not be the best option, but most companies have yet to implement alternate options.
- We spoke to Stacie Haller, ResumeBuilder’s chief career advisor, about whether companies should adopt phased retirement plans.
As older workers are struggling to find their place in the modern workforce, many are choosing to retire, although that path may not be what they want, or what is most financially viable.
One solution that could start gaining popularity is the concept of flexible retirement.
This idea involves working through a phased retirement plan, which “includes a broad range of employment arrangements that allow an employee who is approaching retirement age to continue working with a reduced workload, and eventually transition from full-time work to full-time retirement,” according to Investopedia.
Essentially, this retirement option allows full-time employees to work part-time while also beginning to collect their retirement benefits.
High inflation and an unsteady stock market are forcing many workers to work longer and retire later. Some people have even had to come out of retirement to reenter the workforce in order to make ends meet. With this plan, older workers can continue to maintain an income while slowly shifting to retirement.
For older workers who want to and can retire from the workforce, there should be more options for what that can look like. Yet most companies haven’t implemented other options.
“Companies and public agencies should put more effort into extending such part-time opportunities to their older workers instead of thinking of retirement as being either an all-or-nothing stage of life,” according to The Washington Post.
Rethinking retirement policies would also be beneficial for companies who will be losing experienced workers, many of whom have institutional knowledge that is hard to replicate. Phasing out these people who are often in key roles is better for the team who would be taking over their duties. It gives remaining staff a chance to ask questions as they take on responsibilities instead of experiencing an abrupt hand-off without adequate training.
We spoke to Stacie Haller, ResumeBuilder’s chief career advisor, about whether companies should adopt phased retirement plans.
Allwork.Space: Do you think a phased retirement plan will come to fruition in the future of work?
Stacie Haller: I think they’re becoming more common because there’s a lot of us that are figuring out if we want to retire or not, and if we can retire. Most of us aren’t even thinking about it.
A lot of these things have been in place informally for the folks that were still continuing to benefit an organization, which allows people to transition easily, or at least to a possible full-time retirement.
Sometimes it’s for financial reasons that you still need to work, and sometimes it’s to just stay active.
Allwork.Space: Do you think companies and organizations should implement this type of plan?
Stacie Haller: I think they should implement some form of that…one of the challenges is going to be the benefits; there are things to work out in the private sector going forward.
They need to maintain some intellectual property and company knowledge to pass along to other people as everybody retires. There are many reasons this could benefit both, but I do think there are issues like benefits and who you offer it to and things that would have to be worked out. It would be a great advantage to organizations.
Allwork.Space: In the future, do you think retirement will look as it looks now?
I don’t think there’s such a thing as retirement age anymore. The purview is changing, and by the time you get here, it’s going to be your choice of what you want. You could continue to be working, or you could work part time. There will be different options because it’s totally evolving today. And there are many seniors out there still contributing to the workforce.
Just because you come to a certain age doesn’t mean you have to leave the game. People do it for different reasons, so the phased retirement plan might be for someone who financially can’t totally retire; it really depends. I think it’s an option that could be worked out to be a win-win for both parties.