The Nova Scotia government has adopted legislation that will eliminate mandatory retirement while Newfoundland and Labrador has issued a reminder that similar changes will come into effect in May, says a Mercer Communiqué.

Nova Scotia Bill 163 does not prohibit age-based distinctions in “good faith” pension plans, or group or employee insurance plans. However, it does propose to remove the exception for age-based distinctions in retirement plans.

“If adopted in its current form, this could have implications for non-registered retirement arrangements such as group RRSPs,” the Communiqué states.

The bill will come into force by July 1, 2009.

Meanwhile, the legislative changes in Newfoundland and Labrador do not impact an employer’s right to terminate employment based on a worker’s age where the termination is “because of the terms or conditions of a good faith retirement or pension plan.”

It remains to be seen whether further legislative changes will be required to actually accomplish the government’s stated objective, which is to eliminate mandatory retirement.

What is clear is that age protections for older workers have been expanded. Effective May 26, 2007, workers age 65 and older will receive the basic protections afforded by the province’s human rights code to all other workers 19 years of age and over.

This changes is not expected to directly impact workplace benefit arrangements, since age-based distinctions in the operation of a good faith employee or group insurance plan continue to be permitted.

To comment on this story email

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

Join us on Twitter