Myths and Challenges

Outmoded assumptions, persistent myths and seeming challenges discourage many, if not most, employers from considering phased retirement. The first step in overcoming inertia is surfacing these unspoken barriers and addressing them.

Fear of discrimination

Leaders and many managers worry that creating different exit options may lead to dissatisfaction and, potentially, lawsuits. Age discrimination suits are seen as particularly dangerous. Our proven, business-based application and approval processes overcome this challenge.

Benefit barriers

Many companies believe pension restrictions and other complexities cannot be overcome, despite the fact that the shift from defined benefit (pension) to defined contribution (401k) plans reduces the challenges. All benefits matters can be resolved though thoughtful design,

Part-time = reduced value

A common belief exists across employers that reduced schedules mean a net loss in contribution. Pre-retirees are perceived often as less productive and more expensive and likely to become less engaged if they cut back. Thoughtful work redesign processes can avoid this problem.

Manager overload

The assumption exists that many managers lack the skill and judgment to make fair eligibility decisions and manage arrangements once approved. Proper program design, strong support and quality coaching as needed can address these issues.

Fragile knowledge sharing

The potential transfer of unique knowledge from older workers to databases and mentees is an attractive goal, but the absence of successful models makes it seem unattainable. Again our proven processes maximize outcomes and further enrich the experience and retention of both older and younger workers.

Employee hesitation

When a company has little or no policy or practice of flexible work or gradual retirement, employees are reluctant to propose and persist in requesting choices. Robust policy, program and promotion can reduce this reluctance.