Phased Retirement

DEFINITION of 'Phased Retirement '

A broad range of employment arrangements that allow an employee who is approaching retirement age to continue working with a reduced workload, and eventually transition from full-time work to full-time retirement. Phased retirement may include a pre-retirement, gradual reduction in hours (or days) of work and/or post-retirement, part-time work for pensioners who wish to remain employed.

Part-time, seasonal and temporary work or job-sharing are all work arrangements that can be a form of phased retirement.

BREAKING DOWN 'Phased Retirement '

The nature of retirement is changing, and many workers do not wish to experience a sudden end to work, followed by the equally sudden onset of full-time retirement. Instead, many workers wish to ease into retirement, transitioning out of the workforce with a reduced workload.

It is seen as a benefit by many older workers, as it allows them to gradually ease into retirement while maintaining a higher income than they would receive if they quit work entirely. From the employers' point of view, phased retirement programs can be used to retain skilled older employees who would otherwise retire (especially in sectors where there is a shortage of entry-level job applicants), to reduce labor costs or to arrange the training of replacement employees by older workers.