Financial obligation overriding factor in figuring out benefits for older workers

Legal issues, motivational incentives also must be factored in
By Bill Brown
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 06/03/2011

Plan sponsors are being inundated with a changing benefit landscape — including an escalating incidence of heart disease and obesity and more biological drugs — that is challenging them to rethink their benefit philosophy.

The elimination of mandatory retirement at age 65 has added another challenging component. Employees older than 65 have the same need for benefits, such as paramedical practitioners, orthotics, dental care and vision care, as all other employees. And none of these benefits are covered through government programs. So should employers provide post-65 benefits?

Employers have to consider the potential implications of future legal challenges to age-based discrimination around accessing employee benefit plans — how would they justify not giving these benefits to this employee group?