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SEBINS Blog: Needs of the aging workforce
SEBINS Blog: Is Grey the New Gold...the needs of the aging workforce

Who are older employees??? The question is not easy to define and there is no consensus defining who is an “older worker”. Different agencies and organizations use a broad spectrum of ages, ranging from 40-65 years of age, to determine when they consider an employee an “older worker.”

For example, the U.S. Department of Labor considers an “older worker” to be someone aged 55 years and older, whereas the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 provides protection for anyone in the workplace older than 40.

 

Why is the aging population staying in the workforce?

 

By 2030, the number of people aged 65 years or older in the United States is projected to double to 72 million adults representing 20% of the total U.S. population. The qualifying age to receive full Social Security retirement benefits has been increasing steadily since 1998 and is projected to reach 67 by 2020. As a result, the average age of the workforce has slowly risen and is projected to continue rising.

This increase in workers’ age has been attributed to overall health of the older population, the change in eligibility for Social Security retirement benefits, the general economic climate, the need for health insurance and the availability and design of employer sponsored benefits.

 

Why should Employers Care?

 

Employers pay a large share of the cost associated with health risks and chronic disease. The risk and number of chronic conditions a person lives with increases as we age. Age itself is a health risk factor, but one that you cannot modify. Modifiable risk behaviors (i.e., tobacco use, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition) can be targeted and prevented. It is never too late to address both modifiable individual risk factors and environmental risk factors like exposure to toxic chemicals, extreme noise and even stress.

 

Health risks appear to have more of an effect on employer cost than simply getting old. Beyond direct medical costs, which most employers focus on, indirect productivity-related costs of poor health, such as worker’s compensation and short-term disability, can be 2 to 3 times higher than direct medical costs. Because of this the workplace is an excellent place to have an impact on reducing employees’ risks. Worksite health programs can make a difference in employees’ health and quality of life.

Visit: www.sebins.com to find benefits associated with worksite wellness programs that focus on wellness, worksite clinics that together address the needs of the aging workforce population.