Truck News


Publisher’s Comment: In Praise of Older Workers Everywhere

The latest debate around my local pub concerns the Ontario government's latest move to end mandatory retirement.

The latest debate around my local pub concerns the Ontario government’s latest move to end mandatory retirement.

This isn’t the first time this issue has been brought forward and if it fails, it won’t be the last.

Personally, I’m all in favour of eliminating the mandatory retirement age of 65.

There are a lot of hard working people in our industry who have spent the majority of their lives behind the wheel.

Some have planned for the sunset years while many have not, due to circumstances beyond their control.

Expenses such as rent or mortgages, truck loans, children’s education and general necessities of life were priorities and often very little (if anything) was left for an RSP. These people need their jobs. How fair is it that their income gets cut in half because of a birthday?

Retirement should be a personal decision, providing you’re capable of performing your job duties as expected.

Be it 55, 65, 70 or 98, no one should be told when to hit the retirement highway. It’s a decision that you and only you (Okay, maybe your significant other may have some input) should make.

From an industry standpoint, we need 37,000 new drivers to meet the current shortage so thank God for the owner/operator who’s 70 and loves his job.

What I hope won’t happen, is the government increasing the age at which our pension plan kicks in – don’t be surprised to find that option being kicked around – it’s a very real possibility.

Another argument is we’re all living considerably longer lives than previous generations.

There was a time when 65 meant you were old.

All of my grandparents died in their late sixties and early seventies. Today, my parents are both over 80.

My dad was (is) an accountant who’s every bit as sharp as he was at 55.

There’s also the baby boom equation to consider.

As this group approaches 65, government pension plans will be taxed (no pun intended).

If money out isn’t matched by money in … well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out.

And what about the loyal worker who spends a good portion of their working life at one company, only to be laid off in their late fifties or early sixties?

What chances do they have of being re-hired when the employer knows the position will need to be filled again in a relatively short period of time?

Bring on the lawn bowling – it’s gotta be better than my golf game has been.

– Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck West and he can be reached at (416) 510-5123.

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