New York — June 16
A Bank of America Merrill Lynch study found that the vast majority of employers (94 percent) believe it is important to retain older employees for a longer period of time before they retire in light of the talent and skills they possess. In an effort to retain these employees, 50 percent of employers surveyed now offer flexible or customized work schedules, 33 percent are implementing education around retirement income and health care topics, 32 percent offer continuing education and development opportunities, 22 percent give employees the opportunity to work remotely, and 21 percent are offering extended benefits to older employees.
The company announced findings from its Workplace Benefits Report, a new study focused on the role financial benefit plans play in employers’ talent management strategies and the overall financial well-being of their employees. The study includes responses from 650 C-level executives, HR and benefit plan leaders and examines ways in which employers are helping to address the financial needs of perhaps the most demographically diverse workforce in history.
“Longer life expectancies and baby boomers’ desire or need to keep working are leading to an aging population of American employees that will require more age-friendly workplaces and benefit plans designed to meet the unique needs of multiple generations,” said Andy Sieg, head of retirement services for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “HR leaders are playing more strategic roles within organizations seeking to harness the experience and intellectual capital of older employees in order to remain competitive, while adapting both physical and operational aspects of their businesses to accommodate them.”
Employers also feel, almost unanimously (98 percent), that attracting younger employees is important to broaden the talent and skills of their workforce. According to the study, six out of 10 employers cite retirement benefits among the top factors that help attract new talent (59 percent) and that create employee loyalty (58 percent), second only to health care benefits (69 percent and 73 percent respectively).