Majority of employees favor semi-retirement with a flexible work schedule

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 16, 2022

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As baby boomers continue to reach retirement age, two-thirds (67%) say their company is well prepared to handle their departure. However, less than half of these employees (48%) report their company has an adequate successor in place when the time comes.

One way to help ease this transition is for companies to offer “semi-retirement” to give both workers and businesses more time to prepare.

This is according to a new survey from The Harris Poll commissioned by Express Employment Professionals.

Many U.S. employees changed their retirement plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic with 1 in 5 planning to do so later (22%) and 10% planning to retire sooner. Top of mind when considering when to retire is financial preparedness. The majority (68%) are worried about saving enough for retirement.

To this point, only around 2 in 5 (44%) say they are currently putting aside money for retirement, and nearly a quarter (24%) say planning for retirement is a challenge they face in the workplace. Given this, it is surprising that more than two-thirds of U.S. employees (69%) think they will be prepared financially (i.e., having enough money saved) to retire.

When it comes to retirement, more than 2 in 5 employed boomers (42%) say there are certain benefits their company offers its active employees that entice them to remain employed. More than half (58%) wish their company offered more help for transitioning to retirement and around a third (32%) say planning for retirement is a challenge they’re currently facing, though this has decreased from 2018 (41%).

The majority of employees say they’d be likely to partake in semi-retirement, either by having a flexible work schedule (79%), transitioning to a consulting role (66%) or working reduced hours with reduced benefits (59%). However, only around 1 in 5 (21%) say their employer offers semi-retirement.

Instead, another way employers can ease the retirement transition is by bringing former employees back to the company. Nearly half of employees (47%) say their employer has brought retired employees back, either to be a knowledge expert (24%), act as a mentor to current employees (22%) or handle key client relationships (15%).

“One day, we will inevitably lose baby boomers entirely from the workforce, but until then, we can all benefit from their talent and skills while offering them the chance to enjoy semi-retirement,” Express CEO Bill Stoller said.

To read more about the survey results and methodology, visit


William H. “Bill” Stoller is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals, a company that serves the River Region from its Gonzales location.