Phased Retirement Programs: What Are They?

March 06, 2017 by Raymond Lee

Nearly ten thousand baby boomers will retire each day over the course of the next decade! Thus, organizations must develop strategies on how to handle this transition. Developing strategies for this is important because the mass retirement of baby boomers will greatly affect an organization’s workforce. Also, as organization’s take more progressive approaches to benefits that support a diverse workforce, it will be important to provide support to baby boomers during this transition. Enter in phased retirement programs!


The Phased Retirement Program

Phased retirement programs are human resources tools that incorporate an employee’s choice of work arrangement. A worker reaching the retirement age can continue working in a flexible arrangement and then gradually transition to full time retirement. An example of these flexible work arrangements are part time hours, reduced workload, or telecommuting.

What are the benefits of phased retirement programs?

  • A major benefit of phased retirement is that it gives ample time for a retiree to emotionally and mentally prepare him or herself for this major transition. This usually allows for a more positive experience than the abrupt change present in traditional retirements.
  • Another advantage of phased retirement programs is that it allows your organization to address reluctant retirees in a more collaborative way. By allowing them to voice their concerns about how they want to retire, the transition will more than likely be positive.
  • Also, phased retirements are a great tool for developing new leaders. It allows for exiting leaders to train their successors over longer periods of time. This is beneficial for organizations where leaders make a large impact on overall success.

In a nutshell, phased retirement programs are designed to help organizations handle reluctant retirees, as well as prepare for potential new leaders through workforce planning strategies. A phased retirement program is a much easier transition for retirees, and also allows their knowledge to be transferred within the organization before their exit.

For more information, you can check out our reluctant retiree guide here.

phased retirement programs

Raymond Lee

Raymond Lee

Raymond Lee is the President of Careerminds, a global outplacement company based in Wilmington, Delaware. He has over 20 years of human resource, outplacement, and career consulting experience. He has his bachelor’s in psychology and holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Louisiana Tech University. He is active in SHRM and ATD. Raymond’s been featured on SiriusXM Business Radio, CareerTalk, and the Wall Street Journal and he’s published a book titled, Clocking Out: A Stress-Free Guide to Career Transitions.

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