Postponing Retirement? Actuaries Say It’s Not Easy

Jul 12, 2011

jobThere’s no doubt that many workers want to postpone retirement—so they can keep paying the bills, build retirement accounts and boost pension benefits. Many Americans today literally cannot afford to stop working, especially those with skimpy retirement plans.

But, weighing in on the trend, actuaries say that workers may be looking at postponing retirement through rose-colored glasses.

National Underwriter Life & Health reported that the Society of Actuaries conducted a study that found that pre-retirees “may have unrealistic ideas about how well postponing retirement can help compensate for lack of retirement savings.”

What’s more, the article noted: “…working longer may not be feasible for many people approaching retirement due to the effects of job losses and the difficulty of finding work in the current tough job market….”

Those points may be valid. But one key reason that retirement-age workers can’t find work is that employers aren’t yet ready to deal with them.

Many employers, including in the insurance industry, are accustomed to a traditional office setup with full-time, on-site workers. But many insurance firms, needing skilled talent but also needing to keep costs down, are realizing they don’t have to house everyone who works for them.

By outsourcing, insurance employers can save on real estate, technology, benefits and other costs. These forward-looking insurance firms are using technology—old (the telephone and e-mail) and new (secure private data networks)—to connect with remote workers.

What today’s workers deliver to employers is knowledge. That knowledge is portable. It doesn’t have to report to a certain building in order to perform.


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