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B.C. eliminates mandatory retirement

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In B.C., people can work as long as they want. On Jan. 1 a new provincial law went into effect that eliminates the mandatory retirement age of 65.

With the exception of workplaces regulated by the federal government, the new law will apply to all workplaces in the province.

According to the press release announcing the changes to the B.C. Human Rights Code — which calls forced retirement discriminatory — the driving force for the change was the Premier’s Council on Aging and Seniors’ Issues.

Workers will still be allowed to retire with benefits at age 65, but cannot be forced to leave their professions or positions. In the process the law will allow the province to keep workers with various skill sets and experiences in the workforce, helping to resolve the provincial skilled labour shortage.

The change is not retroactive to when the law was passed in May. The new law does not compel businesses and government to rehire employees that have already retired.

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