Mandatory Retirement and Pension Plans

CARP sent out an Open Letter to the Prime Minister and all Premiers urging them to prohibit age discrimination in pension plans. CARP and many others have successfully advocated against mandatory retirement since it constitutes age discrimination. All provinces have amended their Human Rights Codes to prohibit mandatory retirement but all provinces and territories, except Manitoba, Ontario and the Yukon, still retained the exemption for pension plan provisions.

To read CARP’s letter to the Prime Minister and all Premiers Click here

To add your voice to CARP’s, please write your Premier in support of CARP’s proposal by using E-voice. Click Here

CARP received disappointing form letter responses from several provinces. However, Nova Scotia Minister Mark Parent, Premier McGuinty of Ontario, and Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Saskatchewan wrote substantive responses. Please take a look at them below.

August 13, 2008

Ms. Susan Eng

Dear Ms. Eng:

Thank you for your email of July 18, 2008, regarding your request to amend our legislation to remove pension exemptions to mandatory retirement. As the Minister responsible for the Pension Benefits Act, the Premier has requested that I reply on his behalf.

The elimination of discrimination of any kind is something Nova Scotia takes very seriously. As you may know, Nova Scotia passed the Act to Eliminate Mandatory Retirement in 2007. This Act will come into effect on July 1, 2009, and will apply to all collective agreements and any appendices that reference early retirement.

To the best of our knowledge, the pension plans that exist in Nova Scotia are permissive on early retirement programs and are generally silent on mandatory retirement. However, we are currently reviewing the Supreme Court’s recent decision to determine if there are any issues that need to be addressed.

I appreciate your comments and concerns.


Mark Parent Minister

c: Honourable Rodney J. MacDonald, Premier

Click here to read the full response from Ontario Premier McGuinty

Click here to read the response from the Saskatchew Minister of Justice and Attorney General