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University of Iowa News Release


April 28, 2010

UI to study aging, retirement within academic community

The University of Iowa Center on Aging will launch a two-year study funded by TIAA-CREF to assess trends and best practices in comprehensive retirement planning at institutions of higher education in the United States.

The "Iowa Study on Promoting Healthy and Successful Aging within Academic Institutions" will begin next week and focus on how a wide range of public and private colleges and universities across the country engage with, and support, aging employees as they prepare for retirement.

With the Boomer generation nearing retirement, employers are being challenged to meet emerging preferences for alternative work arrangements among aging employees while hiring new staff.

kaskieThis issue is particularly acute within higher education, where approximately 25 percent of employees are age 55 or older, according to Brian Kaskie, associate professor of health management and policy at the University of Iowa College of Public Health and the principal researcher for the study.

"We know very little about how academic institutions have prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by the substantial growth in their aging workforce," Kaskie said. "Examining programs and services currently offered will be extremely useful in helping higher education deal with this issue effectively in the years ahead."

In-depth findings and recommendations from the study are expected to be released by the end of 2011.

"Those who work in academia facing retirement have both financial and non-financial needs," said Teresa Hassara, senior managing director and head of Institutional Client Services at TIAA-CREF. "This research will identify a set of best practices and effective incentives that can help build holistic retirement programs for an aging workforce. We will work closely with the study team to promote the findings in ways that will help institutions better prepare their employees to retire."

To learn more about the UI Center on Aging, visit For more information about TIAA-CREF, visit

STORY SOURCE: The University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications and External Relations, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

MEDIA CONTACT: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647,