More Americans remaining in the workforce at older ages could lead to benefits at several levels. First, working longer will allow older workers to bolster their retirement savings. Second, hiring and retaining older workers will help employers deal with projected labor shortages. Third, older workers will contribute to economic growth and increase federal revenues, helping to defray some of the anticipated costs associated with increased claims on Social Security and Medicare. Despite all of these gains to be had, there are barriers to continued employment for older workers. In addition, some employers remain reluctant to engage and retain this group. It is in the nation's interest for people to work longer, which requires that barriers to continued work be removed sooner rather than later. This testimony highlights issues discussed at a recent forum GAO convened on engaging and retaining older workers, as well as prior GAO work. Forum participants included experts representing employers, business and union groups, advocates, researchers, actuaries, and federal agencies. These highlights do not necessarily represent the views of any one participant or the organizations that these participants represent, including GAO.
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