Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Retirement, Deferred: Workers — and Companies — Grapple with a New Reality

Buy_the_great_escape_retirement_card_online_motorbike_cards_for_retirement_for_him_for_her_fun_retirement_cards_massive (1)Retirement in a modern context is a highly fluid ideal that is constantly in flux. For many, the notion of retiring at sixty-five is no longer a realistic option. With the average life span continuously increasing, it becomes more difficult for the average American to justify leaving work and living only on investment assets and returns for twenty to thirty years.

Companies are responding to this new reality through a number of various means. One, the phased retirement program, allows workers to continue working part-time or in alternate arrangements as they come closer to retirement. This allows workers to escape the workforce gradually while also permitting employers to retain skilled employees for longer periods. While these programs enjoyed a surge in popularity over a decade ago, their use has plateaued. There are a number benefits associated with this type of plan, but there are a number of drawbacks as well. For employees, requesting entrance into such a program is a clear signal to an employer that retirement is near. Such a signal may cause a premature end to consideration for raises or promotions. In formal phase-out programs, the retirement deadline may be a set date, which is difficult when flexibility is required due to life or financial changes.  

See Jena McGregor Retirement, Deferred: Workers — and Companies — Grapple with a New Reality, The Washington Post, July 19, 2017.


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