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March 05, 2001
Benefits Influence Retirees to Return to Work
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ew survey shows that people aged 55-70 who are retired or semi-retired are more apt to return to the workforce through a temporary staffing service if they can participate in certain benefits programs.

The benefit most likely to influence retirees to work for a temporary staffing service is prescription coverage, which 61 percent of the respondents rated extremely or very important. Other benefits rated extremely or very important are health insurance (56 percent), vision coverage (55 percent), a 401k plan, sick time, holiday pay and dental insurance (50 percent), and short-term disability (48 percent), according to the survey.

The survey, conducted by Adecco, polled mature workers who had returned to the workforce. It showed that 80 percent sought a flexible work schedule to go along with a more relaxed lifestyle, and the same percentage said temporary work is an easy and accessible means of gaining employment without fear of age discrimination.

In addition, 70 percent cited temporary work as a way to supplement income for living or leisure expenses, 60 percent answered that it provides a way of earning income with low stress levels, and 40 percent said it's a means of staying active and current with society.

According to Debbie Pond-Heide, president of Adecco North America, "The company undertook this survey because a seasoned workforce can make significant contributions to employers and because mature workers represent an important new reserve of employees in the United States, now and well into the future."

According to U.S. Census statistics, people over the age of 50 currently make up 28 percent of the U.S. population. As the baby boomer generation ages, the percentage will rise to 42 percent by 2010. "In light of the tremendous pool of labor this group represents, Adecco sought to determine the factors that would most strongly influence the mature worker to remain part of the workforce." Pond-Heide said.

Only 16 percent of the respondents, all of whom were retired or semi-retired from their primary career but were working in a full-time or part-time position, receive benefits from their current job. The benefits most often received are health insurance (11 percent), a pension plan or 401k (9 percent) and sick time (8 percent).

While these figures are certainly low, even more telling is that none of the respondents received prescription coverage or short-term disability, and a mere 1 percent received holiday pay, vision coverage or dependent life insurance. Other categories of benefits they receive include vacation (7 percent), dental insurance (6 percent), life insurance (4 percent) and personal time (3 percent).

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