July 10, 2023

Retirement `rethink’ might tempt older workers to stay in the workforce longer: CBC

We’ve read countless reports about the “grey wave” of retirements — the fact that now that even the youngest of boomers are hitting their early 60s, lots of experienced workers are moving out of the workforce and into retirement.

A report from the CBC takes a look at the negative impact of all these folks heading for the hills — and looks at ways to entice some of them to stay in the workforce even just a little longer.

How, the article asks, do you get skilled, experienced people in expert fields — nursing is cited — to consider returning to work after retirement, or staying in their jobs longer?

The article notes that in 2022, Canada’s economy “was struggling to fill nearly a million job vacancies.” At the same time, the article continues, there was “a record number of retirements among workers aged 55 to 64.”

Is there a way to reverse or even slow down the record retirement levels?

“Part of the solution, according to labour market experts, lies in finding ways to change the culture around aging in the workforce and making it easier for older workers to find fulfilling work and flexible hours,” the article suggests.

Losing the older, experienced workers makes things difficult for employers, the article continues.

“When you’re talking about replacing somebody who is experienced, knowledgeable and good at their job and replacing them with a novice, somebody who’s at the beginning of their career, [that’s] going to have a very different effect than replacing them with somebody who has experience,” Concordia University’s Gillian Leithman tells the CBC.

So — what can be done to change some older workers’ minds?

In the article, employment lawyer Camille Dunbar notes that while mandatory retirement was phased out decades ago, there are still disincentives for working beyond age 65, such as facing contribution caps in pension systems or facing higher costs for health insurance.

“It would be great to see some of those age limits changed, eliminated or somehow tied to something concrete as opposed to just an arbitrary age,” Dunbar tells the CBC.

Other approaches cited in the article include the notion of “job rotation.” Instead of keeping people in the same role for a long period of time, this idea has them getting to work “on new and challenging projects” in a new role.

The older workers interviewed in the article said they liked only having to come in when needed, rather than working full time, and like helping the younger workers learn the ropes.

Placing older workers in mentorship roles, the article continues, is also a nice way to give them a more meaningful work position while helping transfer their experience and knowledge.

And finally, the article suggests that keeping older people in the job longer is good for their physical and mental health. “Fulfilling work for older people has been shown to improve cognition, potentially staving off conditions like dementia, for which care is demanding and expensive,” the article says.

This is an interesting article, and it is very true that we see many friends and relatives still working away in their mid- to late 60s with no real plan to retire. And while it’s very true that these folks enjoy the social connections, mentoring, and so on, they also enjoy the income.

However, with few exceptions, the day will come when we will be either unable or unwilling to continue working. Putting away a little bit of what you are earning today will benefit your future you tomorrow. The Saskatchewan Pension Plan is an ideal way to boost your individual savings efforts. SPP allows you to contribute any amount (up to your available registered retirement savings plan room) each year. You can also transfer in any amount from an existing RRSP.

SPP then takes those contributions and professionally invests them in a low-cost pooled fund. Over time, your savings will grow — and when you decide to give retirement a shot, SPP will have retirement income options at the ready for you, including the possibility of a lifetime annuity! Check out SPP today!

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Written by Martin Biefer

Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock, and playing guitar. Got a story idea? Let Martin know via LinkedIn.

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