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Honored Social Butterfly

Argument for Mandatory Retirement

A Provocative Argument for Mandatory Retirement

 

In this excerpt from 'Aging Thoughtfully,' a law professor makes his case

 

(Adapted from AGING THOUGHTFULLY: Conversations About Retirement, Romance, Wrinkles, and Regret by Martha C. Nussbaum and Saul Levmore. Copyright © 2017 by Martha C. Nussbaum and Saul Levmore and published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.)

 

 It is unlikely that I will be as good at my job at 75 as I was at 55, and yet my employer might be stuck with me. An employer generally cannot require an employee to retire, even at a respectable age such as 68; mandating a retirement age as a condition of employment will be regarded as engaging in age discrimination.

 

Not only am I likely to be less useful to my employer at 75 than at 55, my compensation at the older age will greatly exceed what I earned at 55. Employers correctly fear that if they decrease or even flatten the salaries of aging employees, they will trigger age discrimination suits.

 

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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Social Butterfly

This is a good example of conflating two unrelated subjects. It might be true that in general, older employees slow down or less likely to be updated in their proficiency. But that's not necessarily tied to age alone. Dismissing an employee for not keeping up with the job, is not age discrimination; it's based on job performance. Mandatory retirement is based on age, and not job performance. See the difference? Penalizing good performers for belonging to a general group unrelated to job performance is what's wrong. That's also how a lot of staticians get ther "data" wrong. They call their results "scientific", when it really shows their inability to interpret the data right. Until that problem is recognized and fixed, we'll continue to suffer this injustice.

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I applaud you for your insight. You are exactly on point to the conversation. Thank you. 

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@dl73698250 wrote:

This is a good example of conflating two unrelated subjects. It might be true that in general, older employees slow down or less likely to be updated in their proficiency. But that's not necessarily tied to age alone. Dismissing an employee for not keeping up with the job, is not age discrimination; it's based on job performance. Mandatory retirement is based on age, and not job performance. See the difference? Penalizing good performers for belonging to a general group unrelated to job performance is what's wrong. That's also how a lot of staticians get ther "data" wrong. They call their results "scientific", when it really shows their inability to interpret the data right. Until that problem is recognized and fixed, we'll continue to suffer this injustice.


What injustice?  Right now, you cannot be fired for age alone... that was the point of the article.  Only by tying the two together would a company be able to take action.  This article is an argument for why we possible should allow mandatory retirement based on age alone.

 

 

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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@nyadrn wrote:

@dl73698250 wrote:

This is a good example of conflating two unrelated subjects. It might be true that in general, older employees slow down or less likely to be updated in their proficiency. But that's not necessarily tied to age alone. Dismissing an employee for not keeping up with the job, is not age discrimination; it's based on job performance. Mandatory retirement is based on age, and not job performance. See the difference? Penalizing good performers for belonging to a general group unrelated to job performance is what's wrong. That's also how a lot of staticians get ther "data" wrong. They call their results "scientific", when it really shows their inability to interpret the data right. Until that problem is recognized and fixed, we'll continue to suffer this injustice.


What injustice?  Right now, you cannot be fired for age alone... that was the point of the article.  Only by tying the two together would a company be able to take action.  This article is an argument for why we possible should allow mandatory retirement based on age alone.

 

 


Exactly. "This article is an argument for why we possible should allow mandatory retirement based on age alone.". I'm saying it's a bogus argument for the very reasons I said. Nobody ever mentioned "fired". The end result is loss of employment due to age alone, regardless of how it's diguised/labled.

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@dl73698250 wrote:

@nyadrn wrote:

@dl73698250 wrote:

This is a good example of conflating two unrelated subjects. It might be true that in general, older employees slow down or less likely to be updated in their proficiency. But that's not necessarily tied to age alone. Dismissing an employee for not keeping up with the job, is not age discrimination; it's based on job performance. Mandatory retirement is based on age, and not job performance. See the difference? Penalizing good performers for belonging to a general group unrelated to job performance is what's wrong. That's also how a lot of staticians get ther "data" wrong. They call their results "scientific", when it really shows their inability to interpret the data right. Until that problem is recognized and fixed, we'll continue to suffer this injustice.


What injustice?  Right now, you cannot be fired for age alone... that was the point of the article.  Only by tying the two together would a company be able to take action.  This article is an argument for why we possible should allow mandatory retirement based on age alone.

 

 


Exactly. "This article is an argument for why we possible should allow mandatory retirement based on age alone.". I'm saying it's a bogus argument for the very reasons I said. Nobody ever mentioned "fired". The end result is loss of employment due to age alone, regardless of how it's diguised/labled.


yes!

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I am retiring this week at age 67. That is going to open up two jobs at my company. I do not want to force people to retire. However looking at it from a job perspective, if people choose to work longer there are less jobs for the younger people.

Perhaps of rewarding people to retire later, we should reward them for retiring earlier as that opens up more jobs. I am of mixed mind on this as I can see how it affects both the young and the old.
Retiring is trading one boss for the one you married.
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The author says

"I want to build an argument in favor of dismantling the part of our legal system that effectively bars retirement at a set age, even if agreed upon. Within limits, employers and employees should be able to contract as they like, even if this means that some workers will be required to retire at a specified age. Employers might be more willing to hire older job applicants if it is permissible to set their terms of employment.  

 

I love my job and have no plans to retire, so the argument developed here is against my own self-interest, but right for society at large. There is good reason to allow retirement by contract. But it is doubtful that law will do the sensible thing.

 

Conventional (and insightful) wisdom is that when employees receive training in their early years at a firm, they must be “overpaid” later on in order to keep them from moving to other firms that did not bear the cost of training and that will try to hire them away from the employer that provided training. At some point, the workers might shirk or just stay on the job past their most productive years in order to continue to collect these back-loaded, high wages. To combat this problem, employers can structure wages so they increase with seniority, but then start decreasing when the worker is mature and when diminished productivity is likely, or lateral hiring is unlikely.

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While I am against mandatory retirement in general, I do understand that if people were forced to retire at a certain age, it would open up a lot of jobs for younger people. I do not know how many think about that.

Our young people complain that they cannot find jobs but if more retired earlier that problem would be mitigated. Yet to force people out who need to work, is unfair.
Retiring is trading one boss for the one you married.
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@VinnyD983161 wrote:
While I am against mandatory retirement in general, I do understand that if people were forced to retire at a certain age, it would open up a lot of jobs for younger people. I do not know how many think about that.

Our young people complain that they cannot find jobs but if more retired earlier that problem would be mitigated. Yet to force people out who need to work, is unfair.

And what makes you think those jobs will be filled?  More and more jobs just end as automation replaces them. 

 

 

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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Honored Social Butterfly

I hope he is right that the law will not change to allow this.   

 

There are well founded reasons for aging discrimination laws.  This opinion has some positive aspects but imho it is doubtful that business would be a helpful partner in any employment contract without legal boundaries.

 

What do you think?

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