Friday, July 11, 2008

New paper: EBRI 2008 Recent Retirees Survey: Report of Findings

The Employee Benefit Research Institute released a new paper by Ruth Helman, Craig Copeland, Jack Vanderhei, and Dallas Salisbury which focuses on why employees chose to retire and what employers can do to keep them. Here's the summary:

This paper presents findings from the 2008 Recent Retirees Survey, sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) to better understand the tools and practices that might encourage workers to postpone their retirement and remain longer with their company. It finds that retirees typically retired from employers for one of four reasons: retirement becomes affordable, lack of job satisfaction, a desire for more personal or family time, and/or their own health status. One of the major findings from the survey is that employers have a narrow window of up to two years in which they may be able to intervene to change retiring workers' decisions by offering them incentives to remain with the company. Although no single incentive is likely to motivate a majority of retirees to stay longer with their employer, it appears that employers may be able to assemble a toolkit of alternatives that would be effective in retaining substantial numbers of workers at retirement age. The survey tested a total of 19 possible incentives that might encourage retiring workers to postpone retirement. The most likely incentives to be successful are: (1) feeling truly needed for an assignment; (2) allowing the worker to receive a full pension while working part time; (3) a pay increase; (4) continuing to receive company subsidized health insurance benefits at the same level as full-time workers while working part time; (5) allowing the worker to receive a partial pension while working part time so that total income remains the same; (6) being able to work seasonally or on a contract basis.

The full paper is available through the Social Science Research Network.


Arne said...

I see little point in my reading this paper. Everyone who has retired from the company I work at in the the last 5 years has gone with an incentive package. There is no desire to retain employees.

Andrew G. Biggs said...

The paper includes some information on why people choose to retire; incentives are one reason, but there are others.