Life without mandatory retirement is hard. Compensation and health-care costs tend to increase with age, and in many – albeit not all – cases productivity declines. Employers can dismiss older workers who cannot do their jobs. But that is a very unpleasant task for both parties. The elimination of mandatory retirement combined with the shift from defined-benefit pensions to 401(k) plans also means that retirement is a much less predictable and orderly event than it has been in the past.
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