What Is Unretirement ? (And How Can It Help Your Business?)

Unretirement commonly referred to as “retirement reversal” or “post-retirement work,” is when a retiree returns to the workforce.

This post will explain why unretirement is on the rise. We will also discuss the factors to consider while assessing the merits and negatives of unretirement from both the employer’s and retiree’s perspectives.

Reasons Why Individuals Retire

The term “retirement” brings up visions of globetrotting, sleeping in, spending hours on the golf course, and finally purging. However, retirees quickly learn that retirement is not the idyllic existence they anticipated.

Any or all of the following may be the reasons why retirees choose to return to the workforce:

1. Boredom

“Retirement is only an endless vacation” is a popular misconception. When unexpectedly faced with an empty schedule, boredom can rapidly set in. According to a survey of Canadian retirees, the top three things’ people miss most about work are:

Population and social stimulation (39 percent)

The wage (22 percent)

Having objectives and plans (8 percent).

2. Purpose

New retirees frequently have an identity crisis. Adulthood has been driven by employment.  And for many of us, our professions or careers are integral to who we are. We may also get a great deal of confidence and self-respect from our professional achievements. When this suddenly disappears, it will undoubtedly leave a huge emptiness.

Traveling and having the freedom to do anything you want whenever you want is exhilarating at first. A person may eventually weary of having too much leisure and seek out more important pursuits.


Another reason retiree may return to the workforce is a financial necessity. According to a study conducted in the United Kingdom, pensioners with a mortgage are more likely to quit retirement than those who have paid off their mortgage and own their home outright.

As post-pandemic inflation grows, it becomes increasingly difficult for pensioners to live on their limited and fixed incomes. Many of them may be financially compelled to seek employment. Unfortunately, some individuals cannot afford to retire.

4. Opportunities

Due to the numerous and enticing opportunities accessible, a retiree may decide to resume working. The Great Resignation has left numerous positions vacant, including positions for retirees. Employers are offering an array of perks to attract staff. A hot labor market is particularly appealing to retired workers who are bored, needy, and searching for purpose.

Retired individuals may decide to return to the workforce if they believe it will enhance their physical and mental health. Retirement may lead to sedentary behavior (despite having the time to exercise). At the same time, the job may require them to be more physically and cognitively engaged.

As you can see, there are numerous reasons why retirees may find non-retirement highly appealing! However, unretirement might also benefit companies.

Unretirement and Your Business

Unretirement may appear to be a viable option if an employer is desperate to fill vacancies. Should you encourage retired people to return to work for your organization?

The Benefits of Employing Retired Employees

There are numerous advantages to rehiring retired workers. They already have the knowledge and competence required. It implies you will spend less money and effort training them when they return to their previous positions.

Additionally, rehiring retired staff reduces your recruitment expenses and time. You need not invest money to advertise the opening widely. You are not required to perform three interviews or skills evaluations.

Also, there is less risk. You are familiar with this employee. They have a track record with your organization. And most essential, you are familiar with their past job performance and interactions with coworkers.

Cons of Employing Retirees

Rehiring formerly retired personnel is not, however, all rainbows and unicorns. It can also have downsides.

For starters, if the individual has been retired for some years, their knowledge and abilities may be obsolete. It is especially true for industries on the leading edge, where innovations increase yearly. You can still hire a retiree, but you must invest in their training to get them up to speed.

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