Disconnected and discombobulated

Aye, so here is the rub, as our good friend Bill would have said. We have a creeping Catch-22 on the horizon…or is it the elephant in the room?

It is already accepted by economists and sociologists that there will be a depletion of experienced managers to an unprecedented degree in the coming decade as millions of Boomers willingly or “unwillingly” retire. The willingly is less of the problem for the Boomers and more of the problem for recruiters and employers.

But in the “unwillingly” lies a complex dilemna of monumental proportions. Because of labor laws that were written to protect a growing work force decades ago, it is now impossible for an employee to both draw pension and work for the same company at the same time. By law, when an employee reaches the accepted age of retirement for that pension plan, they must start drawing from it. At the same time, they must no longer be employed by the holder of the pension fund.

What that has caused already and will cause to become epidemic, is that older workers will have to no choice but to retire from their current employers in order to draw pension and then either work for them on contract as independants, or, in a scarier model, work for competitors who would be able to hire them on as regular employees, or in an even scarier scenario, be cut from the workforce entirely taking their much needed savvy and experience with them…with no younger replacements in sight. And in the scariest model, not allow those workers who need to continue to work for income to remain in the workplace.

The problem is already here and in five years will start to become a workforce pandemic as Boomers start to turn 65 at a rate of one every eight minutes. That elephant is sure taking up a lot of space in the room. Wonder when legislators will really notice and take the immediate measures badly needed to bring law up to date with social advancement? When a mouse enters the room?

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