Montefiore, a large hospital located in the Bronx, N.Y., is one of many organizations developing informal programs to rehire some retired employees. Administrators noticed that half of its nurses were nearing 50. It didn’t have a nursing shortage and wanted to prevent one. It now routinely brings back retired nurses on a freelance basis. It’s good for the hospital and the retirees, who can supplement their pensions.
As reported in The New York Times in an article titled “In a Tight Labor Market, Retirees Fill Gaps Their Previous Employers Can’t,” not every person who retires is ready to do so—and not every employer is ready to let them go. In a tight labor market, firms find recent retirees increasingly attractive.
This has become more common than at any other time since the Great Recession, says Kathleen Christensen, who funds research on aging and the American labor market at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. There’s a shortage in many sectors, including construction and transportation, so the attitude toward older workers is changing.
One large northeastern power company is also bringing back retirees, using their years of experience to train younger employees. This company’s management deliberately stays in touch with retirees, allowing some to work part time and taking others on, as needed, for short term projects. Since they are brought back on as contractors, not employees, they continue to receive their pensions.
UPS has organized a program to recruit retirees to address the booming need for delivery services spawned by online shopping. Management sought to bring back retired workers and has also tapped the older workers in construction to help with new facilities that are being built.
One thing to keep in mind if your retirement includes going back to work: how will your income impact your Social Security benefits and your overall retirement plan? Sit down with an experienced cpa and elder law attorney to find out how your new life as a freelancer will impact your tax liability, your government benefits and your estate plan.