Workplace Flexibility

Background

FlextimeA schedule that allows workers to alter the start and end times of their workday. , part time, flexplace, telecommutingWorking from a location away from the office. , teleworking, and job-sharing are examples of flexible work options that appeal to workers of all ages. These arrangements may enable people with health problems or disabilities to remain at work and encourage older workers to stay in the labor force longer. They may also allow working caregivers to more easily fulfill both their caregiving and paid-work responsibilities.

Phased-retirement programs or retiree employment programs enable 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.  Receiving pension distributions during this period can make the transition possible financially. Changes to tax laws and regulations may be necessary to encourage more employers to offer phased retirementA formal program through which a full-time employee may work a part-time schedule while beginning to receive retirement benefits. programs.

Workplace Flexibility: Policy

Availability of flexible work options

Public and private employers should provide more flexible work options, such as alternative work schedules, flextimeA schedule that allows workers to alter the start and end times of their workday. , telecommutingWorking from a location away from the office. , job-sharing, and retiree reemployment programs.

Phased retirement

Public and private employers should offer phased-retirement programs that encourage employees to stay in the workforce beyond the time they would normally plan to retire and that protect the adequacy of their pension and retirement benefits until they do fully retire.

Phased-retirement options must be voluntary for employees, be designed to protect workers’ benefits both during phased retirementA formal program through which a full-time employee may work a part-time schedule while beginning to receive retirement benefits. and after full retirement, and not undermine the long-term retirement security of workers who choose to participate.

Employers should fully inform their employees about the effect of phased-retirement programs on eligibility for and accrual of health and pension benefits.

Barriers to adoption

Policymakers should eliminate barriers to the adoption and acceptance of phased-retirement programs, ensure that such programs protect worker rights and financial security, and educate employers about how to implement such programs.

Public and private agencies should educate employers about successful partial-retirement programs, how to resolve potential legal issues surrounding such programs and how to reconcile them with company policies. Partial-retirement programs could involve such options as job-sharing, part-time work, and progressiveIn taxation, a situation in which people with lower income pay a smaller percentage of their income than do people with higher income. reduction of work hours,