The New Retirement Age

Whether they like it or not, most mature workers have no plans to retire anytime soon.

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Image credit: Kym McLeod (sxc.hu/profile/Egilshay)

The new retirement age is gradually creeping up as mature workers seek to re-enter the workforce after they leave their current positions.

In a recent CareerBuilder study, 57% of workers age 60+ reported that they intend to look for a new job after they retire from their present company – and one in ten respondents (11%) indicate that they don’t believe they will ever be able to retire.

On the upside, more and more employers are reporting a willingness to hire older applicants. Approximately 40% of employers intend to hire workers age 50+ this year and 75% of employers surveyed would consider an application from an overqualified worker who is over the age of 50.

The most common reasons behind employers’ willingness to hire older workers are the fact that mature candidates can bring a wealth of knowledge to an organization and have the potential to mentor younger employees.

“Whether mature workers are motivated by financial concerns or simply enjoy going to work every day, we’re seeing more people move away from the traditional definition of retirement and seek ‘rehirement,'” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.

“At the same time, employers are seeing the value these mature workers can bring to an organization, from their intellectual capital to their mentoring and training capabilities. In a highly competitive job market, mature workers can use these skills to their advantage.”

But older workers’ decision (by necessity or choice) to extend their working lives comes at a cost, i.e. the availability of job opportunities for younger generations of job seekers. As the job crisis for younger workers continues to heat up, it’s likely that workers at both ends of the generational spectrum will increasingly compete for the best positions and opportunities.

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