The issue of mandatory retirement could grow into one of the major domestic conflicts of the next few decades. It cannot be divorced from the availability and adequacy of pensions. Major arguments advanced in favor of mandatory retirement include: easier personnel management, advantages to younger and minority workers, economy for employers, greater productivity, and, in certain industries, greater public safety. Major arguments against include: adverse effect on physical and mental health of many employees, inordinate cost to society–both in terms of pensions and loss of productive labor–and the general positive value of individual performance evaluation.

In the effort to resolve the conflict, three principles are suggested as a basis for future policy. (1) the individual benefits more from activity–physical and mental–than inactivity; (2) society benefits from the maximum feasible productive employment of the adult population; (3) management requires adequate flexibility in the deployment of personnel, and a balance between youth and maturity and the values associated with each age group. Based on these principles, eight specific recommendations are suggested.

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