The smart, flexible alternative to partial retirement: the Senior Flex work model

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Xing Share by email

Many experienced employees have the desire to take partial retirement, or wish to work part-time. Whether it’s hobbies, grandchildren, or simply taking things a bit easier – people’s needs change through each stage of life. We at AXA understand this and have developed smart, flexible work models in response. Read our portrait of Kurt Meyer to learn how a reduction in working hours can be successfully combined with career, and see how it works out financially.

Portrait: Kurt Meyer

Kurt joined AXA four-and-a-half years ago. His range of duties in our company involve supporting all departments in managing their operational risk with methodology, tools and advice for  evaluation and control design. He also gives the AXA management and board of directors the assurance that their control system is working effectively, as it is checked regularly by his unit, Internal Control, as an independent body. The first step was to organize and restructure the sector to reflect new business and regulatory requirements. Kurt had to build up a new team and place risk communication with the departments on a new basis. From the outset, he was clear about wanting to work on a part-time basis – even in this challenging role; firstly because he has a wide variety of interests outside of AXA and secondly because this job would probably be his last before retiring.

  • Teaser Image
    About Kurt Meyer

    Kurt Meyer opted for our Senior Flex work model, managing the Operational Risk & Internal Control sector – part of AXA’s Risk, Actuarial & Security unit – on a reduced, 80% working week.

AXA's Senior Flex work model was persuasive

Prior to taking up his position with AXA, Kurt spent many years in management roles with consultancy firms, multinational technology companies and operators of critical infrastructure. "I have always been fascinated by advising on clients' challenging projects and intensive client contact, but it also has its drawbacks," explains Kurt. One of the major challenges for him lay in juggling the many projects abroad with his private life. "Some of the balance was lost, mainly with the arrival of my first child," says Kurt. In his last job as Chief Risk Officer of a critical infrastructure provider, he brought in his experience as co-founder of a start-up. "In my new job at AXA, it was also important for there to be room for various interests," he states. The fact is that Kurt enjoys and is motivated by the wide range of activities; it’s what constantly inspires him and gives him fresh ideas – including with regard to his job. Kurt’s various activities are mutually stimulating.

"In my last role I had already decided that I just wanted to work part-time in the future. AXA's Senior Flex model was a powerful additional argument." The best thing of all is that despite his 80% working week, Kurt is insured to 100% in the pension fund. For him that’s the icing on the cake and a nice benefit to have.

Working part-time and having a career fit perfectly at AXA

"Although many other companies offer part-time roles, very few of them also provide an opportunity to have a career at the same time. Thanks to its modern, open culture as well as flexible work models, AXA has got it exactly right," says Kurt. He praises AXA’s high degree of flexibility, but also points to the challenges that working part-time can involve: "It’s virtually impossible to spread your workload evenly throughout the year. Instead you experience peaks, when things get really intensive. At busier times, therefore, I not only have to balance my working hours at AXA but also juggle various things in my private life. That calls for a good deal of agility and flexibility." At the same time, Kurt nevertheless thinks the benefits of part-time work are overwhelmingly clear – not just for the employer, but also for him as an employee.

Last but not least, he says: "Performing well doesn’t just depend on how many hours you do, it’s also first and foremost about inspiration and motivation too. In my case, working-part time gives me time to do activities that also feed into my role at AXA. From that perspective, reduced working hours should definitely not be seen as a career blocker."

At my age, career has a very different meaning compared with when I started out.

Kurt Meyer, Sector Head Operational Risk & Internal Control in AXA’s Risk, Actuarial & Security unit

"At my age, career has a very different meaning compared with when I started out," explains Kurt.  The AXA Senior Flex model shows that even older employees who will soon be retiring or taking partial retirement definitely don't have to be simply parked somewhere. Instead, they can actually put their wealth of personal experience to good use and step up a gear. This personal expertise is also highly valued within the team, says Kurt.

"Obviously I’ve also looked at my pension arrangements. Firstly in terms of what I’ll do in retirement, and second in terms of ensuring my family and I are well protected," he explains. The fact that he can have his fully insured salary paid into the pension fund, despite working part-time, gives Kurt the financial security he wants. As far as he is concerned, this pays off not only in relation to his retirement provision but also in terms of AXA’s attractiveness as his employer.

What is partial retirement?

Partial retirement means partial withdrawal from work with a corresponding reduction in working hours, and is possible from age 58 onwards. Three partial retirement stages are possible up to full retirement, which must take place no later than at age 70. Working hours can be reduced by 20% in each case. The employment relationship continues and the employment contract is adjusted in terms of working hours and salary.

Partially retired employees receive a pension. The amount of the annual retirement pension is determined

  • based on the degree of retirement,
  • the retirement assets accumulated up to the point of partial retirement, and 
  • the conversion rate applicable for that age.

Please note:

If someone takes partial retirement before reaching the OASI reference age, their retirement assets and the conversion rate will be lower than retirement at the time of the OASI reference age. This results in a lifetime reduction in this partial pension.

Flexible retirement at AXA

Experienced AXA employees are increasingly looking to retire on a step-by-step basis. Whether it’s partial, staggered, or early retirement: AXA offers a variety of flexible retirement models. These range from a gradual reduction in working hours through to partial retirement. 

Here's an example: Senior Flex

For older members of our company’s workforce wishing to reduce their working hours, we offer Senior Flex – our flexible work model. This allows you to reduce your working hours by up to 20% from age 58. What’s more, you don’t need to worry about your pension – because the salary insured in the pension fund remains the same.

Senior Flex – who covers the costs?

  • Pension contributions resulting from the difference in working hours are borne by the insured employee and AXA on a proportional basis. 
  • Senior Flex therefore requires the consent of the employer or relevant cost center head.

Associated articles

AXA & You

Contact Report a claim Broker Job vacancies myAXA Login Customer reviews Garage portal myAXA FAQ

AXA worldwide

AXA worldwide

Stay in touch

DE FR IT EN Terms of use Data protection / Cookie Policy © {YEAR} AXA Insurance Ltd