Legalized mandatory retirement at age 65 is a longstanding feature of the Canadian labour market, and society. Although the highest court ruled in 1990 that such policies were legal, politicians are revising legislation to prevent involuntary retirement. As in several other Anglo Saxon countries, the combination of a strong emphasis on individual human rights – a feature of liberal market economies and liberal welfare regimes – as well as an aging population has prompted reforms to mandatory retirement policies. Labour unions have been the most opposed to removing mandatory retirement, fearing that workers will receive lower public and private pension benefits. However, a comparison with the United States, and several other nations, suggests that this need not necessarily be the case in Canada. Nevertheless, because of demographic shifts and life cycle changes, many Canadians workers–and those in other developed countries–can expect to work longer in the foreseeable than in the past.
DEMOGRAPHIC CONTEXT AND THE LIFE CYCLE
THE CANADIAN WELFARE STATE
MANDATORY RETIREMENT POLICIES