Private sector and public retirement plans have seen their assets decline by roughly $2 trillion, according to a testimony given to the House of Representatives in October by Peter R. Orszag, director of the Congressional Budget Office. Older workers are more highly compensated and carry higher health-care costs than their younger counterparts. The medical claims for employees 61 to 65 and their dependents hovers close to $8,000 annually, compared with $3,000 for workers 31 to 35, according to Towers Perrin. The trick for companies is to retain the experienced workers they want and need, while offering tools so older workers who are not high performers can retire when they are ready, experts say. For another lesson in how to encourage older workers to retire, private employers can look to universities, which have taken a somewhat counterintuitive approach. Studies have shown that in academia, many employees put off retirement specifically because of concerns about health-care costs after they leave their jobs.