Ontario to Outlaw Forced Age 65 Retirement

April 30, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Ontario government will announce plans to ban mandatory retirement at 65 in a Wednesday address by Lieutenant-Governor James Bartleman in the Speech from the Throne.

The ban marks a major change in government policy, according to a story in the Toronto Globe and Mail. Ontario and the Canadian federal government allow companies to force workers to retire at 65 through contracts, pension plans, or company regulations, although it is not legally mandated.

The Ontario Human Rights Code is silent about discrimination on the basis of age and, to date, courts have upheld mandatory retirement. Mandatory retirement also has enjoyed significant support among business groups and organized labor.

But Ontario’s Human Rights Commissioner Keith Norton and groups representing older people have been campaigning for a change, arguing that many workers want to, or have an economic need to, continue employment. Quebec, Alberta and Manitoba have led the way in already banning mandatory retirement, according to the newspaper.