Fewer Employees Delay Retirement

While many older employees say they are delaying retirement, the delay rate is lower than in previous years, says a new survey.

According to an annual survey from CareerBuilder, 58% of employees age 60 and older say they will delay retirement in 2014. However, this figure is lower than 2013 (61%) and 2010 (66%). Survey results also show that 10% of employees in this age group feel they will never be able to retire, which is relatively unchanged from 2013 (11%). Half of this group (50%) believes they will be able to retire within four years, compared with 47% in 2013.

“While achieving a secure retirement is still a challenge for many in the work force, the survey points to some positive trends,” says Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America, based in Chicago. “As retirement funds rebound and the economy improves, fewer workers are delaying retirement than at the height of the recession. Additionally, more workers expect to be able to retire without having to pick up a part time job to supplement their incomes, and even if they are looking for work, more employers are actively recruiting within this age group than in past years.”

The survey results show that fewer workers are planning to take on full or part-time work after they retire from their current job. Forty-five percent say they will look for work during retirement, compared with 60% in 2013. According to Rasmussen, this could be a sign mature workers are gaining more confidence in their finances as retirement nears, or that better access to health insurance is lessening the need for employees to work longer before reaching Medicare eligibility. For those who do plan on working during retirement, the fields of consulting, retail and customer service were seen as the most popular options.

The delaying of retirement differs greatly by gender. Survey results show that women (71%) are far more likely to delay retirement than men (49%). Eighteen percent of women, age 60 and older, believe they will never be able to retire, compared with 7% of men.

Economic factors are seen by respondents as the most significant roadblocks to retirement, but working late into one’s life is often a voluntary choice, the survey finds. Top reasons for delaying retirement include:

  • Cannot afford to retire financially (79%);
  • Needs health insurance/benefits (61%);
  • Person enjoys job (49%);
  • Person enjoys where they work (46%); and
  • Fear that retirement may be boring (27%).

An increasing number of employers are targeting mature workers in their recruiting efforts, according to the survey results. In 2014, 53% of employers plan to hire mature workers, age 50 or older, which is up from 48% in 2013. Just over one-third (34%) of employers received applications from mature workers for entry level positions. Seventy-seven percent of employers will consider hiring a mature worker for a job they are overqualified for, with only 9% saying they would not, based on not being able to match salary demands.

The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll, on behalf of CareerBuilder, among 2,201 hiring managers and human resource professionals ages 18 and over and 433 full-time employees ages 60 and over. The survey took place between November 6 and December 2, 2013.

CareerBuilder is a provider of labor market intelligence and recruitment solutions.