Question: What is the best way to ask employees about retirement plans?

I am the acting HR manager for an aging team.

I need to proactively plan for resourcing, succession plans, training programs and be on the look out for the up and coming employees.

I want to discuss retirement plans with some team members, but I am not sure of legal constraints or how to get the discussion going.

Your advice is appreciated.

2 Expert Insights

I suggest you talk with an attorney specializing in human resource/workforce issues to ensure you know what the legal constraints are.  I also suggest that you reach out to your local Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) chapter or the national SHRM association for practical advice from practitioners.  You might want to consider joining these associations (in case you are not a member).  It would be a great investment for you.

With regard to succession planning, high potential identification, and training programs, I would be happy to talk through some ideas with you.

Congratulations on being proactive and progressive!

AlL the best,


Your "aging team" is probably where most of your company's skill competencies are residing, and before you encourage retirement, it might make better sense to capture that knowledge before it leaves the building.  Succession planning, identifying high potentials and your employee development plans should all be tied together with the assistance of the leadership team.  Whether this team is young or close to retirement, blending those experiences will best prepare your efforts and the company for the future.

I agree with Susan that I would seek a conversation with an employment law attorney, so you avoid legal actions.