MADISON, Wis. (12/19/11)--The CUNA HR/TD Council addresses issues brought on by retirement of credit union employees in its newest white paper, "The Coming Retirement Gap."
Retirement has become a growing concern not only for pre-retirement employees, and the organization's human resources and senior management, but also for employees looking to rise in the ranks of the organization. Many organizations, including credit unions, are experiencing a gap when it comes to retirement.
The white paper, written by Lucy Harr, evaluates the factors contributing to the gap and the implications and opportunities that exist for addressing it. They include:
Succession plans. One succession plan strategy is to eliminate a position by either replacing it with technology or dividing the responsibilities among remaining employees. Another is to outsource functions when vacancies occur. For example, a credit union converts to an external data processing system from an in-house operation when a senior level information technology manager retires.
Preservation of credit union and cooperative philosophy. A key issue in losing long-time or senior employees is the effect it has on corporate culture, and for credit unions, the fading of the rich tapestry depicting their history and philosophy. Credit unions hold a unique position in the financial services industry. Are their shared values and shared vision in jeopardy when long-time leaders head out the door, the white paper asks.
Management of job functions. Two ways to balance the need for recruiting new talent with the benefits inherent in retaining the knowledge and experience of seasoned employees are to offer part-time positions and to hire retired employees as consultants or temps. These were cited as the most popular strategies among organizations for recruiting and retaining workers who are past traditional retirement age, according to a 2010 SHRM/AARP survey of human resources professionals.
Adequacy of benefit plans. Ultimately, the decision to retire is a personal one, but if workers haven't saved enough to do so comfortably they have three choices: work longer, save more, or reduce their standard of living in retirement. When workers on the verge of retirement who have lost money in the stock market were asked to choose, most said they would delay retirement and continue to save rather than cut costs, according to a 2009 study from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
The paper offers several suggestions for bridging the gap and finding solutions that fit the credit union's staffing, knowledge, and expertise, and the employee's desire to maintain employment. One thing is certain: human resources, training, and development staff play a pivotal role in ensuring the credit union's needs are met and that senior management and the board of directors are informed of the options available, the council said.
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