This month, workspan magazine’s cover story is a feature by 1MFWF Founder Sara Sutton entitled, Is a Phased Retirement Program Right for Your Company?

workspan is published monthly by 1MFWF supporter WorldatWork, a nonprofit human resources association for professionals and organizations focused on compensation, benefits, work-life effectiveness and total rewards. The magazine covers trends relevant to total rewards management, theory, knowledge and practice. HR professionals rely on workspan content to help with the development of programs and practices that promote superior organizational performance.

Read an excerpt of Sara’s article below:


As the largest generation in U.S. history enters retirement, the workforce is experiencing a shift in how people retire and how companies respond. Phased retirement is one solution companies have started using to address issues accompanying the retirement of the Baby Boomer generation.

However, most phased retirement programs are informal, if they even exist. Surveys vary when determining how many employers offer phased retirement programs. MetLife found that 17 percent of employers offer phased retirement. But the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that only 4 percent of employers have formalized programs and 11 percent have informal offerings. A more optimistic survey found that 21 percent of employees say their employers offer phased retirement programs. These low numbers suggest the majority of employers have yet to offer phased retirement.

What exactly is phased retirement, and how is it used by organizations to manage an aging workforce? The article will look at the definition and current forms of this HR tool, companies using phased retirement, the benefits and drawbacks, and steps to implement a program.

Steps to Implement a Phased Retirement Program

How can a company create a successful phased retirement program? The more research and groundwork done, the more effective a phased retirement program will be.

1. Analyze current and projected staffing needs. What is your workforce’s makeup? How many are planning to retire over the next decade? How will that impact business continuity? Not all companies will find phased retirement necessary.

2. Assess employee interest and preferences. How many are interested in phased retirement? Is the interest enough to make a program worthwhile? And what do employees want phased retirement to look like? Employees may be interested in other flexible options.

“Reduced schedules, telecommuting, job sharing and flexible hours can give retirees the security of financial stability without the burden and stress of rigid full-time employment,” said Emma Plumb, director of the 1 Million for Work Flexibility. “It allows them to address health concerns, accommodate disabilities and continue to enjoy a meaningful career while having time for other passions.”

Companies should consider every option as part of their strategies.

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