to reduce hours or move into diferent positions.
Yet only 39 percent ofer fexible schedules, and
24 percent permit employees to shift into less-
demanding roles. Only 27 percent of the orga-
nizations encourage employees to participate in
succession planning and training. Nonetheless,
71 percent of leaders surveyed consider their or-
The Great Recession granted executives a re-
prieve from thinking about how Baby Boomer
retirements would afect them because many
workers had no choice but to stay put amid the
market meltdown that decimated their savings.
“The recession just refocused everyone’s priorities. Now, people are beginning to talk about
retirements again,” says Jacquelyn B. James,
co-director of the Boston College Center on Aging & Work.
An improving economy and rising stock
market appear to be affecting Baby Boomers’
attitudes about working. According to the results of a recent Gallup Economy and Personal
Finance survey, by a ratio of more than 2-to- 1,
respondents said they are working because they want to
and not out of financial necessity.
There is also evidence that companies are playing more-active roles in preparing their employees for retirement.
Many business leaders believe it is in their best interest to
help older workers become fscally stable, since fnancial
stress leads to lower productivity in the short term and could
prompt workers to delay retirement even if they become
disengaged in the long run. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the regulation that created the 401(k), which
allows employees to set aside income for future use. Today,
90 percent of employers ofer their workforces access to fnancial wellness programs, which include information on
how to manage debt, create budgets and plan for retirement,
according to a survey report from Fidelity Investments and
the National Business Group on Health. That’s up from 84
percent in 2017.
The HR team at Newport News introduced a fnancial
Although an improving economy and rising stock market appear to be
affecting U.S. Baby Boomers’ attitudes about working, many of them plan
to keep working in some capacity after reaching retirement age, according
to the results of a recent Gallup Economy and Personal Finance survey:
wellness program last year after learning that many of its
employees weren’t contributing to its 401(k) plans and that
those who did weren’t saving much.
“You don’t want to have people be in a situation where they
want to retire but they can’t aford to,” Jacobs says.
SHORTAGES AHEAD G uiding employees on the road to retirement is more challenging in industries with older workforces and labor shortages, such as shipbuilding, defense, manufacturing, utilities and health care.
The skills gap in the manufacturing sector will cause 2
million jobs to go unflled in the decade ending 2025, according to a 2015 report by Deloitte and the Manufacturing
Institute. During the same period, 2. 7 million Baby Boomers
are set to retire from manufacturing jobs.
The average U.S. manufacturer may lose an estimated
11 percent of its annual earnings—or $3,000 per existing
intend to keep working full time, down from 15
percent in 2013 and 18 percent in 2011.
intend to stop working altogether,
up from 18 percent in 2011.
plan to work part time.
1963 LATE 1940s
A TIGHT LABOR MARKET
SPURS THE GROWTH
A booming U.S. post-
war economy fuels ferce
competition for workers.
Ofering pensions gives
companies a competitive
edge in a tight labor market.
THE DEMISE OF STUDEBAKER
SPARKS PENSION REFORM
In 1963, struggling carmaker Studebaker
closes its Indiana plant, throwing thousands
of people out of work. The company’s
management had misused its pension funds,
depriving many long-term, older workers of
money they had counted on for retirement.
The debacle draws nationwide attention to
the need for pension reform.