Some innovative employers have launched effective phased and partial retirement programs for their aging workers. These examples are provided as support for your proposal. Understanding that their use may or may not advance your request, they should at least serve as a demonstration that these options are workable in complex organizations. The basic material in these cases comes from the companies themselves.
This research-driven, patient-focused biopharmaceutical company depends on its 29,000 global employees to raise the standard of care for some of the world’s most critical medical conditions. In the US, over 3,000 employees are currently eligible to retire. One way AbbVie is addressing retention of this highly skilled, technically unique workforce is by offering a phased retirement program, originally rolled out in 2008.
The program is open to employees 55 or older with at least 10 years of service. It is voluntary with manager approval. There is an annual enrollment and a formal proposal process that includes a knowledge transfer and work redesign plan. Manager and employee agreement on these documents is required.
Available program options include:
- Employees reduce their full-time schedule to four days per week or take up to five weeks additional time off with a corresponding decrease in pay and bonus, but no impact to benefits
including pension and 401(k),
- Employees keep their same schedule, pay and bonus but modify responsibilities such as staff supervision or travel roles, in exchange for assuming a critical mentoring or “knowledge transfer” role, or
- Employees choose both of the options above.
Over 260 AbbVie employees have participated in the program in the past 4 years. In 2017, AbbVie planned to launch an education campaign targeted to managers and HR business partners so they are equipped to use the program to retain both employees and knowledge.