The British Columbia government plans to eliminate mandatory retirement next year, according to a Mercer Communiqué.

Unlike Ontario, where the legislation took effect one year after receiving royal assent, B.C.’s Bill 31 proposes a January 1, 2008 effective date. “If the bill is approved by the legislature in its current form, the transition time provided to the province’s employers to bring their retirement policies and/or collective agreements into line with the new legislation is relatively short,” the Communiqué states.

The bill will continue to permit terminations of employment at 65 if a bona fide occupational requirement can be demonstrated.

As with other provinces, the changes proposed by Bill 31 will not impact the provision of benefits. The legislation will continue to permit differentiation on the basis of age for pension plans and for group or employee benefits under bona fide insurance plans, including those that are self-insured by employers or provided by a third-party insurer.

Recently, Nova Scotia also announced it would end mandatory retirement.

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