The paper asks why retirement can be so abrupt in countries such as France (1/2% of the workforce over 65), yet staged in Japan (8% over 65). We find part of the answer in tax laws that prevent people working and receiving a pension, and make little allowance for fair pension increases if retirement is deferred. While these laws have begun to change, we find another part of the answer in employment protection laws. These laws coupled with inflexible collectively agreed wages make employers choosy about hiring the old. The advent of age discrimination law reinforces employment protection and may well reduce older workers' hiring opportunities especially where wages are rigid.
Mandatory retirement deferred pay age discrimination older workers