older male office worker with two younger workers (Photo: Shutterstock)

Inflation is forcing older American workers to delay their retirement, leading to higher benefits costs for employers, stalled career progress for younger workers, and reduced morale and mental health for team members, according to new research from the Nationwide Retirement Institute.

The institute’s 2022 In-Plan Lifetime Income Study showed that 40% of older American workers plan to retire later than they had planned due to high inflation. That is twice as many as those who planned to postpone their retirement because of COVID-19. Before inflation began to rise, the average expected age for retirement plan participants older than 45 was 65.4, according to the study. Inflation has pushed that number sharply higher to 68.3. Edelman Data and Intelligence conducted the survey on behalf of Nationwide this summer. Respondents included plan sponsors and benefits decision-makers from both the private and public sectors and employee participants in retirement plans.

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