70% of British Columbians Oppose Mandatory Retirement

Created 26 September 2006 10:09

VANCOUVER – The organization representing BC’s university professors today released opinion poll results indicating that 70% of British Columbians oppose being forced to retire by their employers. The Confederation of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia (CUFA/BC) released the results three months after the launch of their “65 Is An Age, Not An Expiry Date” campaign to end mandatory retirement in British Columbia.

“It’s clear that British Columbians want the right to decide how and when they will retire,” said Robert Clift, Executive Director of CUFA/BC. “The results of this opinion poll are consistent with other polling conducted in Canada and internationally.”

CUFA/BC is campaigning to have the BC Human Rights Act changed to make it illegal to force employees to retire at age 65. Currently, there is no protection from age discrimination in employment once an employee reaches age 65.

“We were surprised to learn in this poll that the opposition to forced retirement was even higher in union households,” Clift said. “79% of respondents who were union members or lived in a household with a union member oppose mandatory retirement.”

CUFA/BC also found that British Columbians don’t necessarily intend to stop working at age 65.

“Fully 50% of respondents under age 65 said that they wanted or needed to work after 65,” Clift said. “At a time when the province is facing a shortage of skilled workers, they should certainly be allowed to do so.”

“There is now no doubt that the BC government has to move, and move quickly, to change the Human Rights Act to outlaw mandatory retirement,” Clift said.

The poll results also revealed that almost three quarters of respondents were confident that they had or would have enough money to pay for their retirement expenses. However, a significant minority anticipate that they will not be able to pay their expenses after age 65.

The poll of 500 BC adults was conducted for CUFA/BC by the Mustel Group between September 5th and 13th. The margin of error is +/- 4.5%, and the results are considered reliable 19 times out of 20. For more information, go to the campaign website at www.AbilityNotAge.ca

Representing 4,200 university professors, instructors, academic librarians and other academic staff at SFU (Burnaby, Vancouver and Surrey campuses), UBC (Vancouver and Kelowna campuses), UNBC, UVic and Royal Roads University, CUFA/BC monitors BC’s post-secondary education policy, conducts research, and provides advice to government on how they can improve post-secondary learning and research.

For further information, please call Robert Clift, Executive Director, at (604) 817-1649.

Charts Displaying Poll Results (PDF)
Tables Displaying Poll Results (PDF)

 For more information on the campaign to end mandatory retirement in British Columbia, visit: www.AbilityNotAge.ca