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Keeping older workers not as costly as high turnover

Posted Oct 22 2008 9:32pm

This week the electronic newsletter Connect by BenefitNews included the following article.   To subscribe to the newsletter, which brings you the most important news and trends in benefits management, contact and

Keeping older workers not as costly as high turnover

The benefits and compensation costs of retaining workers age 50 and older are modest compared with the potential turnover expenses, anAARP/Towers Perrinanalysis finds.

Extra per-employee costs of older workers ranges from 0% to 3% in the four key industries studied—- energy, financial services, health care and retail. At the same time, older workers are more motivated to exceed expectations on the job than younger workers, according to the research, based on data from more than 2,000 older workers and 335 large companies.

The analysis comes at a time when projections show that, by 2012, nearly 20% of the workforce will be age 55 or older, a jump from less than 13% in 2000, notes Deborah Russell, AARP's director of workforce issues. This trend is expected to continue, given that AARP surveys show that more than two-thirds of 50- to 70-year-old workers say that they plan to work into their retirement years or never retire.

Employers need to evaluate whether their benefits and hiring policies help employees age in the workplace, Russell advises. Flexible work opportunities, training and eldercare benefits are among the perks older workers find attractive, she says.

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