Age Discrimination:

Use of Age-Specific Provisions in Company Exit Incentive Programs

HRD-90-87BR: Published: Feb 27, 1990. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the use of age-specific provisions in company exit incentive programs.

GAO found that: (1) only 5 percent of company exit incentive programs used an age-specific eligibility provision; (2) two programs set age brackets and one program used an age cap for extended incentive offers; (3) just under 20 percent of the programs had no age provision; (4) 13 percent of the programs used a point system to determine eligibility; and (5) the majority of exit incentive programs offered younger eligible workers age-specific enhanced benefits so that they could receive comparable benefits. GAO also found that: (1) company officials believed that cost considerations and the number of retirement-age workers played a role in company decisions; and (2) company officials not using age-specific provisions believed that the provisions were unfair, did not serve their original purpose, and could cause age-discrimination lawsuits.

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