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HomeAge-Friendly Employers

Many people over 50 want to continue to work into their retirement years. Which is fortunate, because many employers are finding younger talent in short supply. People are living longer at the same time that birth rates are declining. And that is moving savvy recruiters in the direction of older workers. Employers are finding that a lifetime of skill-building and experience pays off. Organizations with multigenerational workforces are more innovative and more profitable than their peers. To attract older workers, employers need to adopt policies and practices that make employees over 50 feel welcome and that fit the priorities of later life. These resources make the case and identify best practices for becoming an age-friendly employer.


1. Their perspective and experience give them better judgment, creativity and 
problem-solving skills.
2. They are more patient, empathetic and responsible in dealing with customers and co-workers.
. They are more dependable, with lower turnover and higher average tenure.
4. Their presence on teams leads to better decisions, higher productivity and greater innovation.
. They make better mentors for younger workers and keep them in place for longer tenures.


1. They ask for high school or college graduation dates, or other info, that will help identify your age.
2. They ask for your salary history, not recognizing that money may not be your highest goal.
3. Their qualifications use words biased toward younger workers, like "digital native" and "high-energy."
4. "Age" is not clearly stated as part of their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy.
5. No one else your age is currently a part of their workforce.

AARP Employer Pledge Program

By signing the pledge, employers affirm the value of experienced workers and commit to create an organization that 1) believes in equal opportunity for all workers, regardless of age, 2) recognizes the value of experienced workers, 3) believes that workers 50+ should have a level playing field in their ability to compete for and obtain jobs, and 4) recruits across diverse age groups and considers all applicants on an equal basis. Employers who sign the pledge are listed for others to see. More info here.

Certified Age-Friendly Employer (CAFE) Program

CAFE is designed to assist age 50+ job seekers by identifying employers committed to objectively considering them for employment, free of age bias or discrimination. To become certified as age-friendly, employers undergo a confidential, in-depth assessment based on twelve certification standards based on proven bet practices. Age-Friendly Employers are listed for job seekers to see. More info here.

A Business Case for Workers Age 50+

This report, prepared for AARP by Aon Hewitt, confirms that older workers make up a growing share of the workforce, debunks the myth that older workers costs more, shows that people over 50 are more highly engaged, and identifies reasons other than money that people continue working as they get older. More info here. Download an infographic summarizing the report here.

Work in Retirement: Myths & Motivations

Research from Age Wave and Merrill Lynch confirms the trend of people working longer and tackles four myths about older workers: 1) that retirement means the end of work, 2) that retirement is a time of decline, 3) that people primarily work in retirement because they need money, and 4) that new career ambitions are for young people. The research shows how work and retirement now fit together in a new "workscape" model and identifies four types of working retirees. More info here.

Age Discrimination in Employment

Research by Pro Publica and the Urban Institute shows that age discrimination remains alive and kicking in the American workplace. If you're over 50, chances are the decision to leave a job won't be yours. Half of older workers are pushed out of longtime jobs before they choose to retire, suffering financial damage that is often irreversible. The experience of unexpected job loss can be felt many times over for some older workers. More info here.

How to Avoid Ageism

Employers who don't value older workers are doing themselves a disservice, But age-friendly, multigenerational workplaces don't just happen. They come as a result of deliberate changes to organization culture, recruiting practices, diversity and inclusion policies, and more. This report by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) identifies tips, tools and other resources that employers can use to recruit and retain older workers. More info here.

Workforce Benchmarking Tool

This online self-assessment tool was developed by the Center on Aging & Work at Boston College for AARP. It enables employers to assess their readiness for a changing workforce and ability to attract experienced talent, then benchmark their results against similar organizations. Finally, the tool customizes a toolkit based on results. More info here.

Silver into Gold: The Business of Aging

This comprehensive report on the intersection of aging and business was prepared by the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging. Chapter 2 focuses on employment, showing how longevity makes older workers a growing natural resource for employers to use in meeting their human capital needs. More info here.

Age-Friendly Employer Lists

Several sources offer lists of employers who qualify as age-friendly by various measures. These lists are useful for people over 50 who seek to target their job search to age-friendly employers.
AARP Employer Pledge Signers (see above)
Certified Age-Friendly Employers (see above)
ABLE-Friendly Employer Partners (Operation ABLE)
Age-Friendly Businesses (City of Boston Age Strong Commission)




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