Older Workers Stand to Benefit from Proposed Legislation

Employers need to plan for the aging workforce-the “gray-haired demographic” is here to stay.

Aging Workforce News (AWN) talks about a newly introduced piece of legislation, the “Incentives for Older Workers Act.” The proposed bill is designed to provide incentives and eliminate barriers for older Americans wishing to stay in the workforce longer, and encourage employers to recruit and retain older workers. AWN explains some of the bill’s highlights:

The proposed legislation (S. 2933, text not yet available) would, among other things:

  • remove penalties in certain pension plans for workers who phase into retirement by receiving a lower salary while working reduced hours;
  • allow seniors to earn delayed retirement credits for Social Security purposes for an additional two years until age 72, instead of age 70;
  • reduce the amount of Social Security benefits lost to seniors who claim benefits before reaching normal retirement age and while they continue working;
  • require states to include older worker representatives on the state and local workforce investment boards and set aside five percent of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funds to assist older individuals.

Given the statistics on Baby Boomers in the workplace, this law could help employers deal with what Forbes.com calls the “Gray-Haired Workforce.” By 2010, the number of workers aged 35 to 44–or those typically moving into upper management–will decline by 19%; the number of workers aged 45 to 54 will increase 21%; and the number of workers aged 55 to 64 will increase 52%. These statistic show that the workforce will include more and more employees aged 45 and over for several years to come. And they’re not going anywhere-AARP reports that 79% of baby boomers say they have no plans to retire any time soon.

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