If There Are Performance Issues Employers Should Deal With Those Directly Through A Disciplinary Warning Process Writes Ed Canning
Brian was approaching his 65th birthday and had been working for a long time as a sales representative.
He claimed his boss asked him one day when he would be retiring. Brian said he did not know but would give lots of notice. Two weeks later, his boss raised the issue of his retirement again and indicated he wanted him to retire within 18 months.
Eight months later, he received an email saying his retirement date had been set for nine months after that, but three months later, he was terminated. Of course Brian filed a complaint for age discrimination pursuant to the Human Rights Code. He alleged he was terminated as a result of his age and harassed because of his age.
If thats where the story ended, Brian would have had a slam dunk case and been awarded lost wages for as long as the adjudicator thought he would have worked as well as general damages for the violation of his rights.
But that was not the end of the story. What Brian did not mention is that before the boss ever asked him about his retirement, he had been receiving performance appraisals with very mixed results. He was very resistant to some of the changes that were happening in the job and the new rules and procedures. He was basically refusing to comply.
There were a number of emails where the boss was exhorting Brian to follow the rules and learn the procedures.
Ultimately, however, Brians continued refusal to follow rules and procedures resulted in his termination without cause.
Retirement Benefits For Employees
When employees get older, it is common for their employers to wonder whether they have plans to retire. This may be relevant to planning the workforce and ascertaining staffing needs. An employer is permitted to ask you and other older employees whether you plan to retire.
For some employees, retirement is an event they have been looking forward to for years. Retirement is sometimes accompanied by significant benefits, particularly in industries where unions have bargained for these benefits.
Depending on your job, you may become eligible for pension payments upon retirement. Pensions, when they are given, are often governed by federal statutory laws such as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act . Any employer that engages in interstate commerce and gives its employees defined benefit plans must abide by ERISA, which offers detailed regulations. For example, it regulates which employees must receive a pension if they are offered and requires that pension plans give benefits to any survivors upon the death of an employee. Employers that follow ERISA guidelines receive special tax treatment.
Private employers are not required by law to offer retirement plans.
Although Social Security benefits are somewhat uncertain for future generations, if you have worked for many years and are currently about to retire, you probably can count on receiving these benefits as well. Employees can apply for Social Security benefits after they reach the age of 62.
The Boss Cant Find A Suitable Reason To Fire You:
In reference to the previous point, this one has a quite similar reason for this question. Your boss asks you again and again about your retirement plan because he cant get a reason to fire you.
He might hate you to the core and cant bear you at work for even one more day. The moment he gets a reason to fire you, he wont think for once more.
But until then, he keeps on asking such questions to signal you that you arent wanted anymore.
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Employers Between A Rock And A Hard Place: Another Puzzling Status Quo Case Decided On Other Grounds
The National Labor Relations Board recently decided a case previously remanded back to it by the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals. The Boards decision in Arc Bridges, Inc., 362 NLRB No. 56, March 31, 2015, circumvents a now common problem for employers by relying on individual facts of union animus, but the underlying problem presented in Arc Bridges still lingers.
Offer To Help During The Transition
Offering to help your employer during your transition is a professional courtesy and helps ensure that your company is well-equipped for the adjustment period after your retirement. Some ways to assist your company include helping find and train a replacement or eliminating your position entirely. This is also a great way to maintain professional relationships.
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Signs Your Employer Wants You To Retire
15 Signs Your Employer Wants You To Retire
If youre at or nearing retirement age, its possible your boss wants you to retire, but you just havent gotten the memo. Some employers take a direct approach when encouraging workers to start their golden years, while others use more understated tactics.
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With the exception of a few professions, mandatory retirement is illegal under the Age Discrimination in Employment Amendments of 1986. The decision to retire should always be in your hands, but unfortunately, it doesnt always go that way.
Youre Not Given The Proper Resources
No matter how talented you are, having the support of your employer is necessary to perform to the best of your ability. If your boss refuses to provide you with the necessary tools and assistance to do your job, they might be setting you up to fail.
Poor performance could give them a reason to fire or at least demote you. It might seem unfathomable, but its not unheard of for employers to take this sly approach.
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Options If Youre Under Age :
- Retiree medical coverage through your employer.
- The insurance policy of a spouse/partner .
- Coverage through COBRA to continue health insurance for up to 18 months after losing your coverage through work. COBRA can be pricey because you pay the full premium . If you have dental and/or vision insurance through your old job, thats included as part of COBRA, too.However, if you turn 65 during those 18 months, you must apply for Medicare.
- A Health Insurance Marketplace plan. Availability varies from state-to-state and depends on your household income. Visithealthcare.govto learn more.
Asking Someone In Their 60s When They Plan To Retire Is Age Discrimination Tribunal Rules
Mr Tapping is now in line for compensation
- 10:06, 16 DEC 2021
- 10:12, 16 DEC 2021
Asking someone in their 60s when they are going to retire is age discrimination, an employment tribunal has ruled.
Someone 30 years younger would not be asked about their plans to stop work as they would not be in a position to start taking their pension, a judge found.
Raising the prospect of retirement to someone approaching pensionable age – if they want to continue working – is therefore ‘unfavourable treatment’, Employment Judge James Bax said.
The ruling came after Ministry of Defence civil servant Ian Tapping successfully sued his employers for age discrimination.
The experienced official – who was in his 60s – had launched a grievance against bosses and was worried he was going to lose his job.
During a meeting with HR to discuss his concerns his plans for retirement were raised, the panel heard.
The MoD claimed this was necessary to effectively manage staff and plan for hiring new employees when workers leave.
But Judge Bax ruled it was unreasonable to ask Mr Tapping about whether he would retire as he had shown no indication of wanting to leave his job.
He ruled the retirement suggestion from the MoD was a means of removing the aggrieved person from the problem.
Mr Tapping is now in line for compensation.
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Do I Still Get A State Pension If I Continue Working
The State Pension age is the earliest age you can claim the State Pension.
As you approach State Pension age, youll be given a choice whether to claim or delay your State Pension payments. You can still claim your State Pension while youre working but you may wish to defer it, which can have some financial benefits.
Your private or workplace pension scheme may have an earlier age where you can start receiving your pension , even while youre working. Schemes vary so ask your fund or employer about how your pension is affected if you change your work arrangements or continue working beyond State Pension age.
What Are The Advantages Of Giving The Bare Minimum Warning
Just as it is a nice idea to give lots of warnings for the benefit of your employer, it can be very beneficial to give little to no warning for yourself. A shady employer may use the news as an excuse to try and fire you and have your pension voided. This won’t work, of course, but the threat can be enough to make you doubt yourself. By giving them minimal warning, you can be gone before they have time to do much about it. It can also save you a lot of headaches. Telling your employer you are retiring in 2 weeks is a clear agreement. Telling them, you’ll retire in 3 months means they might try and strong-arm you into staying “just a little longer.” Lastly, the sooner you can leave the workforce for good, the better. You’ve worked hard you’ve put in your fair share of hard days. It’s time to hang up your hat. There is no use prolonging it.
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Keep Your Money Where It Is
If you retire or lose your job when youre age 55 or older and maintain your 401 with your former company, you can take penalty-free withdrawals between ages 55 and 59 1/2. from the employer you just left.) This is known as the IRS Rule of 55. Your company will have rules for payouts, such as limiting withdrawals to quarterly or annually.
Withdrawing all the money is also an option, but likely not your best one. Depending on your age and the type of the retirement plan you have, if you take out all funds, you could have immediate tax consequences and penalties. And, the savings lose the opportunity for growth, too.
No Ends The Conversation
If the employee says No, I have no retirement plans, thats the end of the conversation. If you continue to press, youre starting to move over the line toward age discrimination and harassment.
Even when an employer has a legitimate reason, asking an employee about retirement plans more than a couple of times a year may be seen as a pressure tactic, Farrell says. If inquiries are more frequent than that, or if they are perceived as pressuring the employee to retire, they may well be laying the groundwork for a successful suit.
Some experts recommend asking all employees about their plans to stay with the company, thereby avoiding the age issue.
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Examine Benefit End Dates
Some benefits may stop the day youre done with work, but others may extend by a set number of days. However, those benefits arent as common as they used to be, says Winston.
This list can help in the retiring transition:
- Upcoming checkups: If you have dental or vision insurance now but wont when you retire, schedule appointments before your last day while those expenses may still be covered.
- Life insurance extension: To convert a voluntary life insurance policy , contact your benefits administrator to get the paperwork started. The difference: Youll pay the premium directly to the insurance company, rather than having it payroll deducted.
- Health insurance and retirement: More on those topics below.
Tip: Enter your employee benefits or human resources department into the contacts on your phone in case you have questions once youre retired.
They Try To Make Your Role Redundant
Many a time, your employer can try to merge your role with a different department or even make it obsolete, Kapoor said.
Not exactly a subtle move. If theres talk of eliminating your position entirely, your boss is probably hoping youll follow your job out the door. They likely cant force you to retire, but theyre betting youll opt to begin your golden years, instead of learning an entirely new job.
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Your Retirement Becomes A Topic Of Conversation
If you choose to discuss your impending retirement, thats one thing, but its a different story if your employer brings it up. Point-blank asking about your plans for retirement and making not-so-subtle comments about how much you might enjoy it could be a sign your boss is hoping youll give your notice, Rodriguez said.
Most likely, this will frustrate you and rightfully so because the decision to retire is a major move that shouldnt be pushed on you.
When To Announce Your Retirement
Here are some things to consider when determining the optimal time to announce your retirement:
Your financial plan: Ensuring you have enough financial resources to effectively retire is important. Consider checking your retirement plans, savings and debts to determine whether you’re ready.
Your health care: Health care is an important part of retirement, and it may be beneficial to budget for any special care you may require. It’s important to verify that you have a good insurance plan or if you’re eligible for Medicare when planning your retirement.
Your goals: Another important facet of retirement to consider is your short- and long-term goals. When planning the right time to announce your retirement, try to determine how you want to spend your retirement and whether you want to maintain connections with your company.
Your home’s status: Consider also evaluating your homeownership status before announcing your retirement to ensure you can afford any mortgage or repair payments you might have.
Once you have your personal financial affairs and goals in order, you may be ready to announce your retirement. This might vary for people in different stages of life or with different financial goals, but it may be helpful to determine whether you’re ready to retire both financially and personally before you announce it.
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Give At Least Six Months Of Notice
Some employers require as little as 30 days of notice of intent to retire, but it’s often a professional courtesy to announce your retirement as soon as you can. This helps ensure that your company can fill your vacant position with a qualified candidate who can positively contribute to your organization. If you can, announce your retirement at least six months in advance.
What Are The Advantages Of Giving Lots Of Warning
Just because you are retiring doesn’t mean you plan on staying retired. You may decide you wish to go back to work if that’s the case giving your employer lots of notice will keep you in good stead should you wish to return. It also gives your employer time to find someone to replace you. If you give them enough warning, it may even give you time to train the replacement. This is not an obligation at all. But, if you like the place you work and respect your employer and your colleagues this is a good idea. You will be glad you ended things on a good note.
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Forced Retirement Outside Of The Exceptions
If an employer does force an employee to retire, and the situation is not covered by one of the exceptions, then the forced retirement can be challenged by raising a personal grievance. Make sure the employee doesnt feel theyre being forced to retire, which will help prevent a personal grievance claim.
Federal Law And Retirement
Federal law does not support mandatory retirement based on age except in a few instances such as a pilot. In the above example, when the employee says that they have no plans for retirement, pursuing the conversation further could be looked at as harassment, especially if the employer brought the subject up regularly.
It could also be classified as age discrimination. If the pressure on the employee was increased, and the employee felt constant pressure to retire, the workplace could be considered hostile.
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He Wants To Place Someone Else On Your Position:
Maybe a friend of your boss has requested him to help him get a job. Or someone from the company is your bosss favorite, and he wants to place him in your position.
Yes, it can be a possible reason for your boss wanting you to retire. Although its legally and morally wrong, your boss is trying anyways.
He wants to vacant your position so he can appoint someone favorable in your place.
Makes Mocking Comments About Your Age:
Your boss has started to make rude comments and offensive jokes about your age. Its his way of encouraging you to opt for retirement.
If the boss is making light comments about your age, its not illegal. But if his comments are quite rude and repetitive, then it will create a bad work environment for you.
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Do You Need To Tell Your Employer You Are Retiring
Whether or not you need to tell your employer you are retiring might seem like a silly question, but the answer is surprisingly it depends. It depends mostly on how your pension is structured. If your pension is tied to your company, then yes they will need to be warned that you are retiring. If they have nothing to do with your pension and it’s completely separate. Then you don’t need to tell them anything except that you are leaving. Again, it’s important to check. How your pension is structured will play a big part. Plus, it’s a good idea to tell your employer anyway. That way you don’t need to give a detailed reason for leaving and you don’t leave them shorthanded.