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Human Resources Association Reports on Importance of 50 Plus Contribution

Posted Oct 01 2008 10:42pm

50 plus is heading up out from under the radar. With each passing week, more and more articles appear to point out the looming loss to society as we know it as our workforce continues to age. Beth McConnell, associate editor for HR News, the online magazine of the Society for Human Resource Management, penned an information-packed article on what the impact of loss of knowledge will have on the very fabric of the US economy over the next decade. For the full article,click here.

Ms. McConnell reports on a lecture byDavid DeLong, author of Lost Knowledge: Confronting the Threat of an Aging Workforce, at the second annual benefits symposium hosted by MetLife, held April 3 in Washington, D.C.

DeLong reports not only on those sectors that will be hardest hit by retiring workers (engineering, healthcare) but the loss of institutional knowledge that may cripple some companies. Additionally, he shares some great statistics on the 50 plus demographic, based on his study,“Living Longer, Working Longer", where he polled 2,719 respondents between the ages of 55 and 70.

Delong: “When we conducted the study, we found that mature workers are struggling to balance the conflicting pressures of income security, post-retirement-age employment and, often, age discrimination—perceived or real—as they look for a sense of security and meaning in their ‘retirement’ years.”

Some of his findings:

Working or looking for work -

  • 78 percent of respondents age 55-59
  • 60 percent of 60 to 65-year-olds
  • 37 percent of 66 to 70-year-olds

Drivers for the “working retired” -

  • looking for meaningful activity
  • try something new and different
  • financial necessity: 18 percent of baby boom workers age 55-59 report they expect to have no access to retirement benefits, such as pension or 401(k), when they stop working

A solid study and worth a look.

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