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Most of the big Florida firms such as Holland & Knight and Greenberg Traurig, and smaller local firms such as Podhurst Orseck, take a different path than the out-of-state firms and eschew the mandatory retirement requirement to emphasize productivity rather than age. However, with senior management now graying, and a legal market battered by changes in technology and client demands, the firm leaders are planning for succession, finding ways for junior partners to step in and senior partners to stay engaged.

Raising the retirement age can work for the whole of Hong Kong

Québec’s human rights legislation appears to deem age distinctions in a retirement or pension plan to be non-discriminatory if the distinction that is made is based upon actuarial data. Québec’s stance on age discrimination in the context of pension plans is in its Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, which articulates every person’s right to full and equal recognition without distinction, exclusion or preference based on age, except as provided by law, amongst other exceptions.

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Perhaps even more sobering is the fact that boomers are the largest segment of workers today in leadership and management positions. Companies that don’t plan for the impact of the boomer generation’s retirements face a potential leadership crisis when those workers are gone, according to the Society’s research.

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Schmit, of the Society of Human Resource Management, suggested employers create mixed-age teams, provide training for older workers to keep skills current, offer phased retirement options and flexible schedules, and address manager bias.

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At Perry Ellis International, George Feldenkreis, 80, continues to drive the company vision and says he’s not ready to step aside into retirement. His delay in implementing a succession plan was among the reasons activist investors pressed for changes last year. Earlier this year, Feldenkreis named his son Oscar, 56, as CEO. His daughter, Fanny Hanano, 55, is chief administrative officer.

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Some industries in Florida may be particularly hard-hit by the aging workforce. In Florida, 40 percent of Florida’s 103,000 lawyers are over the age of 60, and 64 percent are over the age of 55. That makes it a good place to look at the intertwined issues of aging workers and their impact on consumers as well as the workplace, retirement policies and succession planning.

Mandatory Retirement: Not so Fast! - LawNow Magazine

As the number of older workers increases, so do the challenges they — and their companies — face. Recent research from the Society for Human Resource Management and the Sloan Foundation, for instance, shows only about a third of organizations are preparing for a workforce that skews older. Industries with a greater-than-average chance of being hit hard by the retirement of baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) include education, government, healthcare and manufacturing.

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Fort Lauderdale attorney Linda Ann McCullough chairs the formed three years ago to support the needs of lawyers working past standard retirement and help them share their knowledge with younger lawyers. McCullough says her committee has hosted workshops on Medicare, mentoring and succession planning.