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Can an employer force me to retire?

Retirement is often heartwarming because it allows employees to reflect on their careers and colleagues they have worked with for years. All employees eventually retire at some point, but it can turn sour quickly if forced by your employer.

There is no exact age requirement for you to retire, but the law does have limitations for those who plan to request retirement benefits. These qualifications can vary, but the typical retirement age goes from 62 to 67. If an employer forces you to retire, it could be a form of age discrimination. The law has provisions against these practices, including other employment decisions and actions based on age.

However, age might not be the only reason employers ask you to retire. There can be exceptions based on your capacity to continue performing your job, not just your age.

When can employers ask me to retire lawfully?

Most of the time, employers cannot ask employees to retire. Still, the law can provide limited and few exceptions for the following situations:

  • You are at retirement age and can no longer fulfill your job duties safely because of mental and physical health conditions.
  • You have a high-level position in the organization, but your age and health hinder you from making sound, widescale company decisions.
  • You are at retirement age and work at a small private company with less than 20 employees.

Still, provisions protecting against forced retirement could apply depending on the circumstances.

Noticing whether you are facing age discrimination

Some employers can take legal measures to make retirement a favorable option for you, such as better severance packages and other incentives. However, it might still be discriminatory if you feel forced to retire instead of doing so willingly.

You could assess the situation more efficiently by reviewing your company’s policy on retirement and consulting HR. Depending on the response, you could also take legal action to address the incident.


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