National Conference on the New Human Resources Frontier:
Utilizing Older Workers for Competitive Advantage

Descriptions of Four General Sessions with Speakers

Thursday, June 7-8, 2007

General Session 1: The Challenges and Opportunities of Demographic Change in America
- presentations by David M. Walker, Comptroller General, Government Accountability Office (GAO), and Dr. John W. Rowe, Professor, Columbia University; previously Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Aetna, Inc. and co-author, Successful Aging

General Session 2: Linking the Growing Talent Requirements of Employers with the
Growing Talent Pool of Workers 55+
- presentations by Humphrey J.F. Taylor, Chairman, The Harris Poll at Harris Interactive, and Susan R. Meisinger, President & CEO, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

General Session 3: The Imperative for Policy Change
- presentations by John P. Martin, Director for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), and Bradley Belt, Chairman, Palisades Capital Advisors; Executive Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (2004-2006); previously Senior Vice President, Center for Strategic & International Studies and Project Director, Global Aging Initiative

General Session 4: The Competitiveness of the U.S. Economy in the Global Marketplace
- presentations by Ellen Wilson, Executive Vice President-Human Resources, Fidelity Investments, and Dennis Donovan, Executive Vice President-Human Resources, The Home Depot, Inc. (2001-03/2007)


Breakout Topics

  1. What kinds of flexible career options have proved to be most successful in retaining and recruiting older workers?
    • Have organizations conducted attitude surveys among older workers to ascertain what kinds of career options would be most attractive to them?  If yes, what are the results?
  2. What kinds of flexible benefits packages have proved to be most attractive to older workers?
    • Are employers providing retention bonuses for older workers? If so, how are they structured?
    • What is the experience of organizations with healthcare costs of workers 55 and older vs. younger workers?
    • What kinds of healthcare options are most attractive and cost-effective for older workers?
  3. What barriers continue to hinder the increased utilization of older workers, and how can they be addressed?
    • Bearing in mind the inhibitions of defined-benefit pension plans, what can employers with such plans do to retain older workers beyond normal retirement without causing them financial hardship?
  4. How can we better restructure work and deploy older workers in ways that will enhance the bottom-line impact of their experience, while at the same time help to capture and preserve their intellectual and social capital?
    • What are the best practices in capturing the intellectual and social capital of workers prior to retirement, especially those in mission-critical positions?
  5. An inter-governmental task force has been organized by the Department of Labor to consider revisions of laws, regulations and policies that adversely impact the utilization of older workers. What can be done to stimulate making changes that are required to support increased utilization of older workers?


Downloadable Documents


Presentations Made at National Conference

Conference Sponsors

  • AEGON USA, Inc.
  • Alcoa Foundation
  • American Express Company
  • American Federation for Aging Research
  • Bank of America Corporation
  • CIGNA Corporation
  • Colgate-Palmolive Company
  • CVS Corporation
  • Genentech, Inc.
  • The Home Depot, Inc.
  • ING Americas
  • Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis LLP
  • Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.
  • Retirement Research Foundation
  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
  • Society for Human Resource Management
  • Southern Company
  • Transamerica Retirement Management

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