Global Future of Retirement Conference

Workers want flexibility in transitioning to retirement, but few employers have phased programs

Nearly a third of workers globally say they want a flexible transition to their retirement, but only about 25% of employers have phased retirement programs.

That demonstrates the need for a change in attitudes about retirement and work, said Catherine Collinson, executive director, Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement and president of Transamerica Institute.

Ms. Collinson and Neil Lloyd, partner and head of U.S. defined contribution and financial wellness research at Mercer Investment Consulting, spoke Monday on a panel titled "Defining the perils related to longevity and retirement models" at Pensions & Investments' Global Future of Retirement conference in New York.

To address the issues raised by longevity, a recent Aegon survey recommended employers offer a workplace savings plan and extend it to part-time workers; provide employees with education and opportunities to save; adopt auto features in their retirement plans; foster an age-friendly environment; and consider phased retirement programs.

Many current workers also say they plan to on working longer.

But Mr. Lloyd asked: "Do employers want older workers?"

Ms. Collinson noted: "Workers already are thinking about delaying retirement, but the big question is, 'Will there be opportunities for them?'"

And can all employees actually extend their careers: A question remains whether blue-collar workers would be able to work longer, Mr. Lloyd said.

These are problems "begging to be solved," Ms. Collinson said.

Mr. Lloyd said addressing these issues is "complicated; it's confusing, it's hard."