Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Mary Leigh Pirtle provided insight for an article outlining how companies should discuss retirement plans with their older employees. According to Mary Leigh, an annual review period would be an appropriate time to discuss an employee’s upcoming plans for retirement and any need for succession planning.

“Employers should pose questions to employees about retirement plans with the sole goal of understanding staffing needs for future workforce planning,” Mary Leigh explained. “This discussion should be general in nature, should not make reference to the employee’s age or ‘generational’ comments, and should promptly end if the employee indicates that retirement is not a consideration at that point.”

In terms of baby boomers training younger colleagues before announcing plans to leave, Mary Leigh points out that it may depend on the position in question and the company’s needs for proper succession planning. “For example, the company may determine that is best practice to have a ‘backup’ employee trained in key positions or roles with steep learning curves.” However, Mary Leigh said the goal behind these training efforts should be securing future workforce planning and should not be dependent on the age of the employees involved.

The full article, “Should Companies Talk to Baby Boomers About Retirement,” was published by MultiBriefs on June 4, 2019, and is available online.