Execs Also Delaying Retirement

Front-line workers apparently aren’t the only ones putting off their retirement—executives may likewise be sticking around, in part because of the down economy.

The latest Executive Quiz by the Korn/Ferry Institute found 63% of executives surveyed are putting off retirement from their estimated retirement date given three years ago, according to a news release. One-quarter of respondents are sticking with their planned retirement date.

The announcement said 52% of executives plan to retire at age 64 or older, a jump of 8% compared to 2004 when Korn/Ferry last surveyed executives about retirement plans.

When directly asked if the economy was to blame for altering retirement plans, executives were split. Nearly half (48%) said yes—whether it be a delay in retirement age (32%), change in savings strategy (14%) or taking early retirement (2%). The remaining 52% believed the economy has not had a direct impact on plans to retire.

While executives may plan to work until later in life, results also show that companies are increasingly concerned about losing critical knowledge that resides in Boomer-age employees. Forty-eight percent of respondents said their companies are either very concerned or somewhat concerned about losing critical knowledge as Boomers retire, up 7% from 2004.

“While Boomers are planning to stay in the workforce longer than originally planned, there is still a real sense of urgency for companies to benefit from their experience and ensure that this knowledge is handed down to the next generation of leaders,” said Joe Griesedieck, vice chairman and managing director, Korn/Ferry, in the news release. “Implementing programs to facilitate a seamless information exchange from one generation of executives to the other continues to be a critical issue impacting corporations worldwide.”

The Korn/Ferry International Executive Quiz is based on a global survey of executives registered within the firm’s online Executive Center, ekornferry.com. Respondents from 70 countries, representing a wide spectrum of industries and functional areas, participated in the most recent Executive Quiz in April and May 2009.