Over half of education workers in Canada plan to work in retirement: report

'This is an opportunity for education organizations, especially in a time of staffing challenges'

Over half of education workers in Canada plan to work in retirement: report

Many workers in the education sector are looking to continue working even past their retirement age, according to a survey from RTOERO, a provider of group health insurance for the education retiree community.

Overall, 55% plan to work in their retirement.

On top of that, 15% are considering delaying their retirement and 13% have done so.

“The notion of retirement is changing. With aging populations and increasing life expectancy, older workers are continuing to work past the traditional retirement age—either by necessity or choice,” explains Martha Foster, chair of RTOERO.

“This is an opportunity for education organizations, especially in a time of staffing challenges: See older workers as an asset. Consider their unique needs and perspectives. And design workplaces to be supportive and multigenerational.”

Of those surveyed, 34% will be retiring within a year while 55% are retiring within five years.

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

Why prolong work in the education sector?

Some workers are looking forward to retiring early, according to RTOERO’s survey of 1,334 education sector workers (with half being teachers), the majority within five years of retirement.

In fact, 21% are considering retiring sooner than they originally planned and 13% actually decided to do so. 

Preparedness for retirement is the top factor in deciding when to retire, as 33% claim they will go when they are ready and another 33% say they will be out of the workforce as soon as they can manage it.

Far fewer (9%) say they are sticking around because they enjoy their career too much to quit.

When it comes to being financially and emotionally prepared for retirement:

  • 17% say they are ready financially while 32% are ready emotionally
  • 28% are almost financially prepared while 24% are almost emotionally prepared
  • 32% have done some things to be financially prepared while 21% have done some things to be emotionally prepared.

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 workers under 25.

How can organizations manage older workers?

Here’s how employers can support older workers in their workforce, according to the British Safety Council:

  1. Create an age-friendly culture
  2. Hire age-positively
  3. Be flexible about flexible working
  4. Encourage career development at all ages
  5. Ensure everyone has the health support they need.

“One of the trends we’re watching with the future of aging is the changing workforce,” says Jim Grieve, CEO of RTOERO. “Over the next decade, we’ll see a shift in how many organizations approach the aging workforce. Those that embrace this reality as an opportunity will provide flexible options for older workers, creating a win-win situation.” 

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.

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