Shockingly, Only 33 Percent of Agencies Seen As ‘Ready’ for Staff Retirements

Oct 24, 2010

33Look what agency employees are saying about their current agencies: Only 33 percent of soon-to-be insurance retirees think that their organization (agency or carrier) is prepared for their retirement. That’s according to a new survey of 3,000 industry professionals, aged 46 and up.

That shocked me. How about you?

The average age of the workers surveyed is now 56. That means, noted the study: “A retirement expectation of 66 leaves a 10-year time window to prepare for the retirement of the largest age demographic in the insurance and risk management industry.”

To my fellow agency principals: We need to update our long-held, traditional understanding of staffing issues and availability of qualified agency staff. For example, here are three key assumptions that decision-makers in independent insurance agencies in the U.S. need to question:

  • a) Experienced workers are here to stay.
  • b) Employers will have their choice of qualified employees.
  • c) Filling jobs will be easy in the next 10 years.

I’ve been in the insurance industry for more than 30 years, and have known for some time that independent agencies would need to face the retirement of baby boomers. But even I was surprised by the lack of perceived preparation of agencies by those who would know it: The employees who work there.

If only one of three agencies is prepared for the retirements of their most-experienced workers, the industry has a lot of work to do, agency by agency.

The data came from a study called “The Looming Professional Gap: The Aging of the National Insurance and Risk Management Workforce.” It’s published by The National Alliance Research Academy and is available for free download at

Consider yourself forewarned. The insurance industry is about to get drained by baby-boomer retirements. These future retirees don’t think agencies and carriers are ready for the change.

What do you think agencies need to do to get ready for the retirements of baby boomers?

To be continued. Next time: Some good news.


Stay in the loop

Subscribe to our newsletter and get insights into what's going on in the insurance industry right in your inbox.