How to Manage the Impacts of Unretirement on Your Operations

Aug 11, 2022

In the last year, 1.5 million Americans have entered a new phase of work: “unretirement.” While the Coronavirus pandemic caused many more millions to retire, those returning to work after retirement have many reasons for doing so.

The majority of retirees returning to work (60%) are just looking for a way to combat boredom and loneliness. Others cite inflation or rising costs and the need for affordable healthcare. Whatever the reasons bringing them back, retirees are ready and excited to work.


Unretirement: An Unexpected Boon to Employers

This change in the workforce is welcome news to employers nationwide, as the lack of experienced talent has caused a strain. Whether bringing back retirees as full-time employees or assigning them project work, companies are re-engaging valued workers in droves.

However, organizations may not be clued in to all the ways unretirement can impact their operations. Retirees returning to work – as well as their employers – must be compliant with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and its regulations. Because the federal law has implications on both retirement plans and healthcare benefits, compliance can be complex. Retirees returning to work could run into issues in this legal area, as could their employers.

Aside from financial and legal compliance, companies must provide employee engagement programs to their alumni workers. These could include employment options, flexible work arrangements, educational opportunities, and other incentives. It’s important to have a strategy in place to ensure the happiness of the unretirement population.

How can companies manage all the necessary considerations that unretirement brings? With the right partner and the right solution.

The Unretirement Management Solution

Working with a partner like Checks and Balances is critical for both compliance and employee engagement. The Re-engagement Program was developed to handle all aspects of managing workers returning to work after retirement. These 4 steps outline how to implement this solution in your operational plans.

  1. Don’t Wait for Unretirement to Happen

The Re-engagement Program takes a proactive approach to retaining valuable employees and their institutional knowledge. By having Checks and Balances maintain a database of alumni talent, companies can easily reach out to retirees before they even consider returning to work after retirement. Employers can offer retirees full-time employment again or project work on an as-needed basis.

An obvious benefit beyond retirees’ wealth of institutional knowledge is the reduction of recruitment costs. When employers have a database of willing talent at their fingertips, it’s not necessary to spend thousands recruiting, hiring, and training new workers. This cost savings is an added benefit to the unretirement trend when paired with the Re-engagement Program.

  1. Avoid Compliance Issues with ERISA Regulations

While ERISA protects retirement plans and contributed funds, there are restrictions on taking them out of the plan. In fact, it’s not necessarily guaranteed that a worker has an immediate right to any contributions made by the employer. In some cases, there is a deferment period before distribution of funds can be made.

Like most legal issues, ERISA compliance is complex and difficult to navigate. Using the Re-engagement Program can eliminate much of the compliance issues that returning to work after retirement can bring. Checks and Balances becomes the employer of record for each worker identified and handles all human resources, payroll, tax, insurance, and other functions of their employment. The worker is then assigned back to the company as a contract employee, which helps maintain legal compliance.

  1. Onboard Unretirement Workers Quickly and Efficiently

The Re-engagement Program’s client-specific database provides the fastest way to refill open positions with knowledgeable workers, no matter the work arrangement. But beyond identifying the right person for the position, Checks and Balances onboards each employee quickly. The onboarding process is high-tech, secure, and client-specific, meaning companies can tailor their documentation and forms. Employees are assigned back to the company quickly, allowing them to hit the ground running and provide value immediately.

Unretirement is more than just a passing workforce trend. With millions of Americans returning to work after retirement, companies must have the operational structure in place to accommodate them and ensure legal compliance. Using Checks and Balances’ Re-engagement Program is the most efficient and effective way to retain, onboard, and manage retirees returning to work.

Written by: Sarah Perlman

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