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Utility retirements slower than expected, but rapid workforce change underway

The power and utilities industry has braced for a wave of baby boomer retirements for many years. The rapid departure of employees with decades of experience supporting the industry’s customers will undoubtedly have an enormous impact. Extensive and in-depth knowledge can’t be transferred to a new generation of workers simply by classroom or computer-based training.

But for all the talk, there’s been no great swell of retirements, at least not yet. The growing wave of retirements has been slower than anticipated as many industry veterans aren’t calling it quits. Why not? Here’s what we’re seeing.

The face of the utilities workforce is changing, but slower than expected

Top three reasons utility retirements are slower than expected

#1. Personal decision: Veteran utility workers are making good money at a job most still enjoy. Why leave?

#2. Dependent family members: Many would-be empty nesters are still supporting adult children or elderly parents.

#3. Financial uncertainty: More than a decade after the economic recession, confidence may remain weak for some.

The face of the utility workforce is changing

The utilities industry has a far greater number of employees eligible to retire than other industries, according to PwC Saratoga data. In fact, the industry has at least twice as many retirement-eligible employees across all employment levels. While Boomers have been slower to retire than expected, the transition to a Generation X and Y workforce has begun. Utility companies are certainly undergoing a generational transition that requires careful thought, planning and actions for retiring workers as well as strategies for attracting, developing and retaining the next generation of workers.

 

Contact us

Karen Brennan-Holton

Principal, Power & Utilities Human Capital Leader, PwC US

Philip McLemore

Director, Advisory, PwC US

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