American employees’ view on phased retirement – opportunities and challenges revealed
April 25th, 2023, Kineree Shah

American employees’ view on phased retirement – opportunities and challenges revealed

The concept of phased retirement involves a variety of employment arrangements that allow workers nearing retirement age to gradually reduce their workload before transitioning from full-time work to full-time retirement. These arrangements may include a pre-retirement reduction in working hours or days, post-retirement part-time work, or job-sharing opportunities. At YouGov, we conducted a comprehensive survey to gauge US employees’ opinions on phased retirement. The result may serve as a valuable resource for employers and organizations seeking to understand the benefits and challenges of implementing the program in their workforce.

According to recent survey findings, seven in 10 American employees aged 55 or older, who are presently engaged in full-time or part-time work, believe that phased retirement holds the potential to enhance work-life balance (69%).

An equivalent percentage of respondents also believe that such a program could yield a very positive (25%) or somewhat positive effect (45%) on employee retention and satisfaction.

We also explored the potential drawbacks of phased retirement programs as perceived by American employees aged 55 and older who are currently employed either part-time or full-time. Over two in five employees (43%) expressed concerns about a potential reduction in retirement benefits as a drawback of phased retirement. More than one-third of employees (36%) raised concerns about the possibility of age discrimination or bias arising from phased retirement arrangements. Almost one-third of employees mentioned the difficulty in finding part-time replacements or job-sharing partners (31%) while a quarter identified the potential for an inequitable distribution of work among employees as a drawback (24%).

Nearly one-fifth of employees raised concerns about legal or regulatory challenges in implementing such programs (18%). Other concerns brought up by the respondents included the potential impact on company culture and team dynamics (16%), reduced opportunities for younger employees to advance or join the organization (16%), strain on company resources (15%) and negative impact on career advancement opportunities (12%).

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on 18-19 April 2023 with a nationally representative sample of 1,183 adults in the US (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race to be representative of all adults in the US market (18 years or older) and reflect the latest US Census Bureau population estimates. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

Cover photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels