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Attract and retain top talent in a changing workforce.

The Business Case for Workers Age 50+: Planning for Tomorrow's Talent Needs in Today's Competitive Environment

This and Related Reports

Competition for talent among U.S. companies is likely to increase significantly as the Baby Boom Generation approaches traditional retirement age. Many companies potentially face critical losses of experienced talent in key roles ranging from leadership to sales to certain technical and professional disciplines and many skilled trades. Fortunately, workers age 50+ represent a viable solution to these challenges.

Workforce demographic data for large employers sponsoring U.S. pension plans show that almost one in five workers in these companies is retirement-eligible today, and another third will become eligible to retire over the next 5-10 years. Replacing an experienced worker of any age can cost 50% or more of the individual's annual salary in turnover-related costs, with increased costs for jobs requiring specialized skills, advanced training or extensive experience—qualifications often possessed by 50+ workers.

This AARP study examines the recruitment and retention of workers age 50+ from a business-case perspective. It highlights the need for employers to consider costs with a broader lens and demonstrates that 50+ workers represent a solid and sound investment proposition.

The study includes analyses of cash compensation costs, retirement benefit costs, paid time-off costs, and health care costs. By presenting case studies and documenting best practices, it also shows how to develop and implement an effective strategy for retaining and recruiting workers age 50 and over.

This study was conducted for AARP by Towers Perrin, a global professional services firm. The information was drawn from a variety of sources, including several Towers Perrin databases, recent AARP and Towers Perrin surveys, as well as other available research and previously published studies on this issue. To gain up-to-date insights, in-depth telephone interviews were conducted with senior human resource executives in ten major organizations across the United States.

For additional information, please contact Deborah Russell at (202) 434-2067 or S. Kathi Brown at (202) 434-6296 or Sara Rix at (202) 434-2416, all of AARP. (28 pages)

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