There are a number of critical elements to discuss with your employer as you introduce this idea and ask for a new working arrangement: If you are part of a defined benefit program (traditional pension plan) through your employer, talk to HR or legal counsel about how a reduced workload will affect your ultimate retirement benefits. Some companies have found creative (and legal!) ways of working around the issue of determining “final average pay” calculations, so you may want to do some research beforehand, but you should definitely explore this.
- Find out how a reduced workload will affect your medical (and other) benefits
- Ask about arrangements made for other older workers that you might leverage in your situation
- If you are part of a union, you may want to discuss this with your union rep prior to talking to your manager, supervisor, or company HR rep
In addition, as you negotiate this new arrangement with your employer, you may want to make some of the following points:
- Avoid the Brain Drain as baby boomers leave.
- Better workforce planning If the organization knows when someone will be reducing their hours or changing responsibilities, HR will be better able to fill the skill gap in a timely way.
- Smoother Knowledge Transfer Key knowledge can be transferred to those who will need it in a planned and structured way.
- Help employees plan early and it will keep them more engaged and committed.
- Fewer high earners on full time payroll lowers costs for the company
The way I see it, this should be part of the retirement picture in the years to come for many more organizations. We need to help them wake up to the benefits of phased retirement – for everyone.