Not too long ago, 65 was accepted as the standard age of retirement. However, as overall health levels improve and financial obligations increase, many people work well beyond 65. In a recent Supreme Court of British Columbia case, the courts acknowledged this:
This case involved a 63 year old plaintiff who, at the time of his car accident, had been working at Prospera Credit Union as the Manager of Investigation and Loss Prevention. The plaintiff’s tax returns revealed that he earned approximately $90,000/year. The plaintiff was able to continue working up to the time of his trial, and he was not given an award for Past Wage Losses. However, the plaintiff was given an award for Loss of Future Earning Capacity, which is an award meant to compensate plaintiffs for income that might be lost in the future.
In awarding the plaintiff future losses, the judge put emphasis on how the plaintiff’s household debt and obligations to pay for his daughter’s education were likely to force him to work beyond the age of 70. The judge also decided that the plaintiff was likely “to retire at an earlier age than he otherwise would have retired” and that his prospects for alternate employment were “poor”.
This case illustrates how the courts attitudes towards retirement and current financial circumstances have changed. Also, many people struggle through work despite ongoing injuries. Doing so is clearly not a bar to recovery for future wage losses.