Compensation and benefits packages that cater to older workers play a key role in improving retention, according to case studies of “best practice” companies in the “Wisdom at Work: Retaining Experienced Nurses” study. Successful strategies included tying pay scales and pension contributions to seniority, and giving financial rewards to employees who demonstrate successive levels of competence in certain areas. Older workers also appreciate the opportunity to take advantage of phased-in retirement options, which allow them to retire and be rehired or work part-time after retirement.

Benefits that appeal to older workers include “eldercare” programs that help employees provide in-home care to aging, disabled or ill spouses or relatives, and flexible schedule arrangements that allow senior employees to work on a seasonal basis or work unusual or reduced hours. Scheduling flexibility lets employees continue working even if they spent part of the year in an alternate location or if they take care of aging, disabled or ill spouses or relatives.