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When the Boom Drops: A Survey of Virginia Businesses on Older Workers

Most of the qualities that older workers already possess are the top qualities that Virginia businesses believe employees should have in order to meet the needs and culture of their organizations. Given their desire to keep skilled workers and their positive evaluation of older workers' solid experience in the job or industry, Virginia businesses should be considering strategies to retain older workers.

Yet, this AARP survey of 1,056 businesses in the Old Dominion found that:

  • Just 7 percent of Virginia businesses plan for employees to retire at a particular age. Likewise, only 7 percent are planning for baby boomers to retire.
  • Strategies to help older workers work past traditional retirement age are currently being used by 60 percent of employers while about 40 percent use none. The most common strategies are: providing training to upgrade skills, hiring retired employees as consultants or temporary workers, reducing work schedules to ease into retirement and providing part-time work without benefits.
  • Nearly half of employers plan to use strategies within the next five years to help older workers work past traditional retirement age while just over half do not plan to use any strategies. The most common strategies are: providing training to upgrade skills, hiring retired employees as consultants or temporary workers, reducing work schedules to ease into retirement, and providing part-time work without benefits.

Surveying took place from July through October 2004. The report was prepared by Brittne Nelson and Rachelle Cummins, both of AARP Knowledge Management. For further information, please contact Rachelle Cummins at 202-434-6297. (115 pages)

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