Provincial government employees who turn 65 will find it easierto continue to work thanks to a legislative amendment introducedin the House of Assembly today, Sept. 30. The amendment to the Public Service Superannuation Act willremove the mandatory retirement provision for employees withinthe Public Service Superannuation Plan. The plan covers all civilservice employees, employees of Crown corporations, Workers’Compensation Board employees, some Nova Scotia Community Collegeemployees and many members of the health sector. “We know that many older workers are qualified and capable ofworking,” said Finance Minister Peter Christie, “and we valuetheir knowledge and experience.” Section 16 of the act currently says that employees must retireat age 65 unless the Governor in Council determines it is in thepublic interest to retain their services. Over the past number ofyears, government has routinely allowed employees to work beyondage 65 by issuing an order in council. About eight or 10 requestsare made per year. This will no longer be required when theamendment is enacted. The courts have not found mandatory retirement provisions to beunconstitutional on the basis of the Canadian Charter of Rightsand Freedoms. But the amendment will bring Nova Scotia’slegislation in line with most public service pension legislationin other jurisdictions. The only provinces that currently havemandatory retirement provisions are Newfoundland and Labrador,Saskatchewan and Ontario. Ontario has introduced a bill thatwould repeal its provision.