Here Are the Benefits That Are the Most Important to Baby Boomers

Image Credit: Adobe Stock Images

Image Credit: Adobe Stock Images

If you’re starting to feel like people are working longer at your company, you’re noticing an actual trend in the U.S. workforce today—more people are working into their 60s, 70s, making these age groups the fastest growing segment of the employed population.

In my latest post, I outline the data behind the trend that Americans are opting to work longer. By the year 2026, 1/4 of the workforce will be over age 55. And by that time, almost 1/3 of people aged 65+ will still be in the workforce. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the entire 2014–24 decade the labor force growth rate for workers aged 65 to 74 is expected to be about 55 percent. During this time, the number of workers over age 75 is expected to grow by 86 percent, compared with a 5-percent increase for the labor force as a whole.The growing share of employees who are working into their 60s and even 70s keeps increasing, and this trend does not show signs of slowing any time soon.

This shift in the demographics of the American workforce completely changes the needs of workers to be addressed by employer benefits offerings. On one hand, attracting Millennials and Nexters involves offering benefits like student loan repayment, career development opportunities and low-cost healthcare. Meanwhile more seasoned employees value benefits that respond to needs unique to a different phase of life--preparing them financially for retirement, addressing changing healthcare needs, and allowing for greater work/life flexibility. 

Some examples of the benefits valued by more seasoned workers are:

  1. Healthcare, prescription and dental coverage are valuable benefit offerings in the eyes of Baby Boomers. While benefits like these seem obvious, they’re worth mentioning as they were cited as the most important employer-sponsored benefits for those over age 55, according to a 2017 study by MetLife.

  2. The availability of flexible work arrangements, including phased retirement options where people can reduce their hours as a stepping stone before deciding to take full retirement.

  3. Offering on-site seminars or virtual resources to help people to prepare for the Medicare planning process.

  4. Supporting the use of a financial advisor to assist with the planning process for retirement as well as advice on tax planning, HSAs, and healthcare funding.

  5. Offering a concierge service with a company like Doctor’s Choice to guide people’s step-by-step transition to Medicare.

Between work/life flexibility, financial preparedness and making arrangements for post-retirement healthcare, these benefits are hitting on the areas of highest concern to the aging workforce.

Source: MetLife

Source: MetLife

Employers have an important opportunity to consider the needs of a growing share of Baby Boomers who are opting to stay in the workforce. Today’s Baby Boomers have been described as the first generation who are retiring alone, without an employer safety net. As the days of pensions and lifetime healthcare have come to an end for most, Boomers are the first generation to have to plan to support themselves throughout retirement without employer support. Considering the unique needs of seasoned workers can keep them engaged in meaningful ways that improve productivity and knowledge sharing before they fully transition to retirement. In future weeks I’ll continue to explore these benefits, including how companies are using phased retirement to improve the succession planning process. 

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About Doctor’s Choice:

Doctor’s Choice is the premier service advocate for Medicare, making healthcare transitions easy for employers and their employees. Founded by a Brown University-trained Physician, they deliver best-in-class service to seniors before, during and after their transition to Medicare. Offering coverage across the country and tech-enabled personalized guidance through their Turbo Medicare Roadmap, Doctor’s Choice provides concierge-level service and healthcare advocacy to our members for life. For more insights on retirement trends and employer strategies for an aging workforce, follow Doctor’s Choice on LinkedIn @DoctorsChoice, Twitter@DoctorsChoiceU, and Facebook @DoctorsChoiceUSA.