American employers are faced with a difficult balancing act – attracting new talent, while also holding onto experienced workers. Achieving this balance is driving employers to create financial benefit plans that appeal to workers of all ages.
According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Workforce Benefits Report (published April, 2011):
- 94 percent of 650 C-level executives surveyed recognize the importance of retaining older employees and the knowledge they possess;
- 98 percent point to the need for younger workers.
To attract and retain these key segments of the workforce:
- 50 percent of those surveyed offer customized work schedules;
- 33 percent provide retirement income and health care education programs;
- 32 percent offer continuing education and development opportunities;
- 22 percent give employees the opportunity to work remotely;
- 21 percent offer extended benefits to older employees.
According to Andy Sieg, head of Retirement Services for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, “Longer life expectancies and baby boomers’ desire or need to keep working are leading to an aging population of American employees that will require more age-friendly workplaces and benefit plans designed to meet the unique needs of multiple generations.”
Employers also feel an increased sense of responsibility for the financial well-being of their employees:
- 59 percent of employers feel greater responsibility to help employees meet financial goals;
- 53 percent feel that responsibility includes providing both financial benefit plans as well as access to financial education and advice.
“If there is one silver lining of the recession it’s this increased sense of responsibility,” says Stephen Ulian, head of institutional retirement and benefit solutions at Bank of America. As a result, employers are offering a broader range of financial education programs and tools, although getting employees to take full advantage of them remains a challenge.
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