The Unretirement Trend


An older man in a business suit seated in front of an open computer and notepad where he is jotting down notes.

A look at why retirees are returning to work and how employers are re-engaging them.

Since the pandemic, we’ve seen both the Great Resignation and the Great Reshuffling. Part of the reshuffle is the unretirement trend—a return to the workforce by retirees. For many employers tapping this talent-rich pool of workers can help solve labor shortages. Here’s a look at what returning retirees want and how some companies are making themselves more attractive to these valuable workers.

Why retirees are returning to work

Money and a sense of purpose are two key drivers behind unretirement. Some folks simply need more money than they anticipated, especially with recent increases to the cost of living. Other folks miss the engagement and purpose that work provides. Additionally, like many younger workers, unretirees want to do meaningful work.

Why employers seek returning retirees

Employers recognize older workers as a valuable asset because their maturity comes with key experience, knowledge and skills. They are likely to stay in a job longer and demonstrate more job engagement than younger employees.

How employers attract retirees

Employers who want to re-engage retirees look to match the person to the right role. And that role doesn’t have to be at the same level as when the employee retired. In fact, many retirees want less responsibility than they previously had, but also welcome opportunities to mentor younger workers.

Flexible schedules and hybrid working arrangements also make returning to work more attractive for retirees.

Employers are also crafting other options. For example, Unilever’s U-Work program allows employees to work on varying assignments that allow time off—from a few days to a few months–between assignments. Another example is Franklin International, an Ohio manufacturer of adhesives and sealants, that has many employees age 70+  thanks to their phased retirement and good retiree medical benefits.

Hiring retirees is a win-win-win

Employers and returning retirees are just two winners in the unretirement trend. An AARP survey revealed that younger workers appreciate veteran co-workers’ experiences and willingness to teach.

Financially empower your employees

One way to make your workplace more attractive to prospective employees, including returning retirees, is by providing the tools they need for financial fitness. The complimentary Consumers @Work program financially empowers employees with seminars, onboarding assistance and much more. To bring this innovative service to your team, contact a Consumers @Work representative.

Do you have business banking questions? Contact our knowledgeable Commercial Loan Officers online or call 800-991-2221. We’re also available to help in person at your local office.

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