Phased Retirement and Reduced Hours in Late Careers


  • John C. Scott
  • Yung-Ping (Bing) Chen

Document type: Encyclopedia Entry

Appears in: Work and Family Encyclopedia

Year: 2008


  • Age or Aging
  • Alternative Work Arrangements
  • Older Workers
  • Retirement


  • Gerontology
  • Public Health


There is no statutory or legal definition of phased retirement, and, to the best of our knowledge, there is no consensus definition of phased retirement among scholars or practitioners. The practice that we are calling “phased retirement” in this entry has been and is associated with other terms, such as “partial retirement,” “gradual retirement,” “Deferred Retirement Option Plans” (DROP), and “retire and rehire” arrangements, among others. We will discuss these other terms and practices, but first a working definition of phased retirement may be appropriate. Phased retirement is the reduction of work with a long-term employer as an older employee approaches full retirement. This definition has three parts or concepts that need to be considered in concert: “reduction of work”; “with a long-term employer”and “approaches full retirement.” Under this framework, phased retirement is part of the broader context of part-time work [see Reduced Hours Work/Part-Time Work and Flexible Work Arrangements].

Link:Phased_Retirement-Reduced_Hours encyclopedia