Longer working lives demand a flexible approach to retirement
The New Shape of Work interview series addresses the challenges and uncertainty brought by the coronavirus, and how to transition to a more agile workforce for the future.
Flexible working supports longer and more fulfilling careers, giving employees newfound freedom and employers access to experienced talent. Interestingly, it’s also an inclusive way to support ALL generations in the workforce, an important component of today’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) agendas.
Join us for a conversation between Kate Bravery, Mercer’s Global Advisory Solutions & Insights Leader, and Yvonne Sonsino, Partner and Global Co-Leader of Mercer’s Next Stage platform, discussing:
- The impact of COVID-19 on employee retirement plans, and how flexible retirement can benefit both employees and organizations.
- How roles and retirement can flex to retain the skills that employers need while also allowing succession planning, and keep employees engaged when they want or need to work beyond retirement.
- The biggest hurdles employers experience when trying to shift toward flexible retirement solutions, and how Mercer is partnering with the World Economic Forum to address these risks
- How age, gender, and race/ethnicity can impact retirement outcomes, and how employers can address the unique challenges these groups are facing when preparing for retirement.
Interesting moments from the interview:
Accessing funds"Some people have had to dip into their retirement savings and start to draw on them. Some countries have even enacted new legislation to allow people to access their funds and draw them early. It's like robbing Peter to pay Paul because the pots are already small enough and dipping into them early and making them last longer are clearly exacerbating the problem. Then they're deepening the inequalities."
Employers demonstrating their values"During this period, employees have been looking to the employers as the beacon of truth. And [employers have] actually been demonstrating their values through their benefit programs. We've seen in many areas that organizations have stepped above what's happening in the local country and said “this is something that we're going to be doing."
Being at the top of your game"So how amazing it would be to have a panel of experts…look at your life and situation on a piece of paper and say, well, I think you need to do this…recommending anything from preventative health interventions, to just more savviness about money. Not necessarily in depth understanding of your pensions, but savviness about your assets and how a combination of the right assets: property, pensions, savings, rainy day funds could help. Also providing lots of good advice about your career and how to make money. So incremental reskilling, just constantly being at the top of your game, looking at what jobs are out there and pushing yourself a bit."
Equal pensions"On average, our [women’s] pensions are 40% lower than men's – that’s the average remember – so some are much worse than that. But if all of us could have started taking such an active interest in our investments at age 22, we wouldn't be having this problem. You know, in eight of the top developed geographies, we already run out of money eight to 20 years before we die so this has to be tackled head on, and soon."
Considering retirement options"One of the things that we've seen during this last six months is employees really beginning to think about their employer - how they behaved during this period, and in turn, what's the value proposition they're getting out of lending their time to a particular company. You know, retirement historically hasn't always been front of mind, I think, from everything that you're saying that's beginning to change."