Requiring employees to retire at 65—or any other predesignated age—is a form of illegal age discrimination banned by the human rights laws of every jurisdiction. However, there are a couple of significant exceptions to the rule. Employers can still enforce a mandatory retirement policy if they can justify it as either:
- A bona fide occupational requirement (BFOR); or
- Part of a bona fide pension or retirement plan (BFPP).
The burden of proof is squarely on the shoulders of the employer. And while meeting that burden is a formidable challenge, in certain circumstances, justifying mandatory retirement as a BFOR or BFPP is not only possible but imperative to business. As HR manager, you can be expected to play a key role in determining whether your organization is in the position to adopt, implement and legally defend a mandatory retirement policy as a BFOR or BFPP. Here’s a Questionnaire to use in making that determination.