Saturday, July 15, 2006

Employer Attitudes towards Older Workers: Survey Results
[July 2006 - The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College] Today men on average retire at 63 and women at 62, and they can expect to spend 20 years in retirement. But if Americans continue to retire as early as they do today, many will not have adequate income once they stop working. Social Security will provide less relative to pre-retirement earnings as the normal retirement age rises from 65 to 67 and those lucky enough to have a 401(k) plan are likely to find their balances inadequate. One solution to the retirement security challenge is for people to work longer. Working longer directly increases a person’s current income; it avoids the actuarial reduction in Social Security benefits; it allows people to contribute more to their 401(k) plans; it allows their assets more time to accumulate investment earnings; and it shortens the period over which people have to support themselves with their retirement assets. So it stands to reason that workers would choose to extend their careers. But will they find employment? This brief presents the results of a new Center survey of attitudes towards older workers. Key findings are:
* Although older workers are seen as costing more, they are also viewed as more productive than younger workers.
* On balance, over 80 percent of employers said older workers were “as attractive” or “more attractive” than a younger employee.
Read the summary or download the full report (PDF).


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