The Great Recession caused many workers to delay retirement plans or forego them completely, but an annual CareerBuilder survey shows a slightly more optimistic picture for full-time workers nearing the end of their careers. A majority (58 percent) of workers age 60 or older say they are currently putting off retirement; however, this is down from 61 percent in 2013 and a peak of 66 percent in 2010.
The nationwide survey – conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from November 6 to December 2, 2013 among a representative sample of 433 full-time workers (age 60+) and 2,201 hiring and human resources managers – found that 10 percent of workers in this age group feel they’ll never be able to retire, relatively unchanged from 2013 (11 percent). Half (50 percent) say they’ll be able to retire within four years – a slight improvement from 47 percent last year.
“While achieving a secure retirement is still a challenge for many in the workforce, the survey points to some positive trends,” said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. “As retirement funds rebound and the economy improves, fewer workers are delaying retirement than at the height of the recession. Additionally, more workers expect to be able to retire without having to pick up a part time job to supplement their incomes, and even if they are looking for work, more employers are actively recruiting within this age group than in past years.”
Plans to work post retirement
Fewer workers are planning to take on full or part-time work after they retire from their current job. Forty-five percent said they’ll look for work post-retirement—a significant 15 point drop from 2013 (60 percent). This could be a sign mature workers are gaining more confidence in their finances as retirement nears or that better access to health insurance is lessening the need to work before reaching Medicare eligibility.
Among those who do plan on working post-retirement, consulting, retail and customer service work are the most popular disciplines.
Retirement gender gap
Those delaying retirement differs greatly by gender. Women (71 percent) are far more likely to delay retirement than men (49 percent). Eighteen percent of women (age 60+) don’t think they will ever be able to retire, compared to 7 percent of men.
Why are workers delaying retirement?
Economic factors are the most significant roadblocks to retirement, but working late into one’s life is often a voluntary choice, the survey found. The following are the top reasons workers delay retirement:
• I can’t afford to retire financially: 79 percent
• I need the health insurance/benefits: 61 percent
• I enjoy my job: 49 percent
• I enjoy where I work: 46 percent
• I fear retirement may be boring: 27 percent
Employers targeting mature workers
The survey provided good news for workers looking for a new job at the end of their career. Fifty-three percent of employers plan to hire mature workers (age 50+) in 2014 – up from 48 percent last year.
A third (34 percent) of employers said they received applications from mature workers (age 50+) for entry level positions. Seventy-seven percent of employers said they’d consider hiring a mature worker for a job they are overqualified for; only 9 percent said they wouldn’t on the basis of not being able to match salary demands.
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,201 hiring managers and human resource professionals ages 18 and over and 433 workers (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) ages 60 and over between November 6 and December 2, 2013 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With pure probability samples of 2,201 and 433, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have sampling errors of +/-2.09 and +/-4.71 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract great talent. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors and 1 million jobs. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing everything from labor market intelligence to talent management software and other recruitment solutions. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.
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