1 in 2 retirees want to continue working – with incentives

Statistics Canada report shows top factors that might entice older workers to stay on

1 in 2 retirees want to continue working – with incentives

Many older workers on the brink of retirement would like to continue working – with some considerations, according to a Statistics Canada report.

Among people who had not completely retired but were planning to retire, more than half (55.1%) said that they would continue working longer if they could work part-time, and about half (48.9%) would continue working if they could work fewer hours without it affecting their pension.

Others said they would continue working if:

  • it was less stressful or physically demanding (43.0%)
  • they had the opportunity to do more interesting work (37.6%)
  • they received pay or salary increases (34.2%)
  • their health improved (29.3%)

Several employers are now offering a benefit specifically designed for older workers to be able to bond with their grandchildren. Both Booking.com and lending giant Fannie Mae, for example, introduced grandparent leave offerings in 2022.

Older worker population

By June this year, there were about 5.57 million workers aged 55 and older in the labour force, according to Statistics Canada.

Among them, about 4.37 million were employed while close to 199,000 were not.

Also in June, just over one-fifth (21.8%) of Canadians aged 55 to 59 years reported that they were either completely or partially retired. This proportion doubled to more than two in five (44.9%) for those aged 60 to 64 years, then nearly doubled again to four in five (80.5%) for those aged 65 to 69 years, said Statistics Canada in a report accompanying the June Labour Force Survey.

Older workers are ideal workers, according to a previous study. It found that 54% of workers aged 50 and above believe they "go above and beyond in their job," compared to just 17% of recipients under 25.

How to hire and retain retirees

Here’s how to hire and retain retirement-age employees, according to Robert Half:

  1. Use an omni-channel recruitment strategy to reach a diverse talent pool, including channels that target a passive audience such as industry organizations or recruitment services.
  2. Take the time to understand what is motivating the retired employee to pursue the position as part of the hiring process, and craft or adapt components of the job description to support this goal.
  3. Provide complementary health services such as annual flu vaccinations, and on-site ear, eye or skin checks.
  4. Offer flexible work hours and generous leave policies.
  5. Find opportunities to leverage older workers’ insights to validate their importance to the team and keep them engaged in turn.