N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 167

Wednesday, July 2, 1947 (Morning session)

down into the details of business, may be an unreasonable burden upon, say, a man of 65. The judgment and experience of a man in business can be of great value if he can sit back and guide some of the younger men who have the energy and ability.

JUDGE BRENNAN: I suppose it is a matter of where you sit.

MR. SMITH: That is right.

JUDGE BRENNAN: But as an opposing viewpoint, there is the capacity and the authority of the chief executive in business to delegate a great many of the functions that keep the corporation a fluid and going concern. The judge doesn't have that power of delegation, so I think the wear and tear generally are comparatively much the same. I think maybe I should not have said "compulsory" but "optional."

MR. AMOS F. DIXON: The difficulty with "optional," as I see it, is that the men who are really in a position where they should be retired are the last ones to accept that option, because those men are the last to acknowledge that they have reached the point where, perhaps, they are letting go a little bit. This retirement age of 65, used by a large number of the very largest industries, does unquestionably retire men who have great ability and could continue. But that age is kept compulsory just exactly for that reason, because if you leave it optional - I have seen it time and time again in industry - men who retire at 65 and whose associates really felt should have been retired earlier, were the ones who thought they were being discriminated against when they were supposed to retire. But they could not get away from the firm rule under which everybody was treated the same. Now, in some industries there is an optional retirement at an earlier age - say, at 60 - and compulsory retirement at 65.


MR. DIXON: And I think in industry as a whole, that has worked very well. I have seen quite a little bit of large industries.

JUDGE BRENNAN: On the whole, it is good. It is rather a human characteristic, I think, to consider age in comparison with the other fellow. It is rather an unpalatable thing to face at a certain age, and very few people will, as far as their own case is concerned, admit to themselves that they are no longer efficient at 70 or 75. Of course, men have varying abilities; not all men of a certain age fall into a class that is fixed, but I would say that 70 would be about the peak of effectiveness either in or outside of industry.

MR. WAYNE D. McMURRAY: Judge Brennan, suppose the retirement age were fixed at the unusual figure you suggest, which is much younger than any we have heard so far. Those men would then, of course, be retired on full pay or part pay, or whatever it

Previous Page in Book ********* Table of Contents *********** Next Page in Book